With a recruiting class that addressed the defensive front in need of depth and talent, Auburn will also be getting some help on the back end of the defense with two veteran cornerbacks returning to the Plains.

According to a report from Justin Hokanson of AuburnLive, D.J. James and Nehemiah Pritchett will be back in the orange-and-blue for the 2023 season.

While James and Pritchett were already starters this past season, their journeys have been very different. 

A commit in the 2019 recruiting class, Pritchett has been with the Tigers for four seasons. While only appearing in one game during his freshman season, Pritchett has played in 34 games over the last three seasons in the defensive backfield. 

In his career on the Plains, Pritchett has racked up 93 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, one sack, two interceptions, and 21 pass deflections. 

James took a different path to the Tigers, playing his first three years at Oregon before transferring to Auburn ahead of the 2022 season. During his lone season on the Plains, James excelled at the cornerback position, finishing the year with 37 tackles, one tackle for loss, eight pass deflections, and one interception returned for a touchdown. 

The combination of James and Pritchett returning will give new defensive backs coach Wesley McGriff a solid duo to build his defensive backfield around.

While James and Pritchett are taking another season on the Plains, wide receiver Shedrick Jackson announced on Friday that he has declared for the NFL Draft after four seasons in the orange-and-blue.

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