Travis Williams probably wouldn’t have wanted it another way.
Williams, a former standout Auburn linebacker and a Tigers legend in his own right, watched Saturday from the sideline as his name fell down a notch on the school’s all-time leading tacklers’ list.
But he was glad to see it happen, at the hands of his senior star Deshaun Davis.
Davis recorded a team-high 13 tackles last Saturday in Auburn’s 31-16 win at Ole Miss, and with that, moved his career total to 226 tackles at Auburn, in the meantime passing Williams, who 214 tackles in his own playing career at Auburn.
Williams played linebacker at Auburn from 2001-05. He was named an All-SEC player in 2004 when he helped lead the Tigers to a perfect season. He’s now in his third season as Auburn’s linebackers coach.
Williams and Davis had their eye on Davis passing his coach’s mark going into Saturday’s game in Oxford, and celebrated the achievement taking a photo together after the game.
In the photo Williams shared to his Twitter account, Williams is smiling with Davis and holding a dry-erase board from the Tigers’ sideline that has his career tackles mark, 214, scrawled across it.
“Super proud of (Davis),” Williams shared in the tweet. “This is an AUsome moment to coach someone that (passes) you on the tackle list.
“Very proud of what you’ve done on and off the field! I’m honored to be your coach!”
Davis responded on Twitter with the words, “Complete honor,” and “Love you coach.”
Davis now stands 10th on Auburn’s list of career tacklers since 2000. Saturday, he passed Williams, Jermaine Whitehead (218 from 2011-14) and Williams’ former teammate Karlos Dansby (225 from 2001-03), another legendary Tigers linebacker.
The all-time leading tackler in Auburn’s record book is Freddie Smith, who was credited with 528 tackles from 1976-79. Takeo Spikes rounds out the top 10, having been credited with 331 tackles from 1995-97.
Davis’ 13 tackles Saturday marked his ninth career game with 10 or more tackles.