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Auburn cornerback Roger McCreary will return for 2021 season

Auburn cornerback Roger McCreary will return for 2021 season

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Auburn vs. Kentucky football

Auburn cornerback Roger McCreary celebrates a would-be pick-six during the team's game against Kentucky on Sept. 26 in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Auburn cornerback Roger McCreary was a standout on the Tigers’ defense in 2020, and he’s not done yet.

McCreary announced Monday that he will return to Auburn in 2021 for his senior season. That news is a major victory for the Tigers, which will have their top cornerback return for Bryan Harsin’s first season at the helm of the program.

“After many conversations and prayers with my family, I have chosen a decision that I am most comfortable with in the long run,” McCreary wrote in part on social media. “As graduation is an important achievement for my family and me, I have decided to stay at Auburn for my senior season. I will now have the opportunity to improve my talents for the next level, while achieving one of my biggest accomplishments in my life.”

The Tigers truly needed someone to step up in the secondary in 2020 after losing several key players from the previous season, and McCreary answered that call. The junior was often locked on the opponent’s top receiver, and he ended the season with 45 tackles, seven tackles for loss, six pass break-ups and three interceptions.

“He's had an excellent year,” then-Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said in November. “He's played with a lot of confidence. He's usually covering their top guy. We've got a lot of confidence in Roger.”

McCreary did not play in the bowl game against Northwestern – interim head coach Kevin Steele didn’t explain the reason for McCreary’s absence – and his return stands as a major victory for what would be a much-more experienced Auburn defense in 2021.

McCreary’s announcement is the latest among the Tigers’ secondary. McCreary and safety Smoke Monday will officially be back in 2021, while safety Jordyn Peters will not exercise his additional year of eligibility. Auburn nickelback Christian Tutt is reportedly going pro, and safety Jamien Sherwood has yet to announce his decision.

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