Since coming to Auburn as the No. 3 overall player and No. 1 defensive end in the 2015 recruiting class, former 5-star recruit Byron Cowart has struggled.

In 23 career games, he’s only recorded 12 tackles and hasn’t made the impact the Tigers expected him to make.

However, as Auburn tries to see if Cowart would be better off at defensive tackle this season, progress has continued to be slow. This week, defensive line coach Rodney Garner told that Cowart still faces a steep learning curve.

“He’s working,” Garner said. “He’s working. He’s working. He’s working.

“He’s just got to keep improving. He moved to a new position, which is totally Greek. He’s at defensive tackle, which that’s a different position. So he has to learn the techniques and fundamentals that master those where he can be successful at that position.”

Head coach Gus Malzahn added that he’s seen some improvement from Cowart since the spring practice session:

“I think he’s settling in,” Malzahn said. “In the spring, he started settling in. It’s like anything else — you get more reps at it, the better you’re going to be. He’s shown at times that he can rush the passer from inside pretty efficiently.”

As he prepares for his junior season, time is running out for Cowart to become the kind of game-changing player the Tigers expected him to be. However, if he can put up some good numbers inside this season, he could get his Auburn career back on track.