Auburn's Nix, Pappoe planning on productive debut season for Harsin

Auburn Athletics photo / Auburn junior linebacker Owen Pappoe is eager to be the defensive leader for a program transitioning from Gus Malzahn and defensive coordinator Kevin Steele to Bryan Harsin and Derek Mason.

They are the only two five-star remnants from the Gus Malzahn era.

New Auburn football coach Bryan Harsin may have wiped the slate clean after being introduced last Christmas Eve, but nobody was surprised to see junior quarterback Bo Nix and junior linebacker Owen Pappoe representing Harsin's Tigers last week at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Alabama. The two were starters as freshmen and continually have displayed leadership skills that carried over following Malzahn's firing last December and Harsin's subsequent hiring.

In fact, Pappoe wasted no time in zipping into Harsin's office to introduce himself.

"He was going to be our new head coach, so I wanted to go over there and personally meet him myself and let him know who I am," Pappoe said. "We've got a lot of respect for each other.