Positive: Undersized yet athletic linebacker with potential on the weak side. Breaks down well, goes sideline to sideline, and covers a lot of area on the field. Shows ability in pursuit, nicely redirects to the action, and wraps up when tackling. Displays good awareness and has a quick burst to the play. Effective in space and makes plays in the open field.
Negative: Minimal force at the point of attack and up the field on the blitz. Struggles getting off blocks. Marginally effective in coverage.
Analysis: Stephens is an underrated linebacker prospect with potential as a backup on the weak side for a conventional defense."
2009 -- Auburn Co-Defensive MVP ... 11th in SEC/81st in NCAA in tackles per game, 7.3 tpg ... T-62nd in NCAA in solo tackles per game, 5.0 ... Named SEC Defensive Player of the Week (9/21) ... Phil Steele's Third-Team Midseason All-SEC ... Started all 13 games ... Totaled second-most tackles on team with 95 ... Registered 11 tackles vs. Tennessee and 12 vs. Arkansas to become first AU player to register double-digit tackle performances in consecutive games since Mark Brown in 2002 (10 vs. Miss St. & 11 vs. Vandy) ... Started at linebacker in season opener vs. Louisiana Tech and tied career high eight tackles ... Also had 1.5 TFL's (minus 3 yards) and 1.0 sack (minus 2 yards) ... Sack was first of career ... Against Mississippi State, had 2.0 TFL's (minus 4 yards) with seven tackles, four solo ... Picked off first career pass and returned it 15 yards for first career TD vs. West Virginia ... INT gave Auburn 41-30 lead with 3:20 left in game ... Also had 11 tackles, eight solo, vs. WVA ... Against Ball State, racked up half a sack (minus 12 yards), one forced fumble, one QB hurry and six total tackles, with four solo stops ... Forced fumble was first since 2007 (Mississippi State) ... Led Tigers, and tied career-high, with 11 tackles in win over Tennessee ... Also had one QB hurry, one pass break-up and a TFL (minus 1 yard) against the Vols ... Against Arkansas, set career high and led team with 12 tackles ... Nine tackles were solo stops ... Against Kentucky, had a QB hurry, half a TFL (minus 1 yard) and seven total tackles ... Against LSU, recovered a fumble and totaled seven tackles, three solo ... Had one QB hurry, 1.5 TFL's (minus 3 yards) and eight total tackles vs. Ole Miss ... Five of eight tackles were solo vs. Rebels ... In limited playing time, logged two solo stops vs. Furman ... Totaled four tackles vs. Georgia ... Recorded six tackles, three solo, vs. Alabama ... Against Northwestern in Outback Bowl, had a sack for minus 14 yards and six total tackles ... Five of six tackles were solo.
2008 -- Finished tied for 43rd in SEC in tackles per game (4.5) ... Started all 12 games ... Finished with fourth-most tackles on team with 54, with 31 solo stops ... Also had half a TFL, one fumble recovery, one QB hurry and two pass break-ups ... Against Louisiana-Monroe recorded one pass break-up and three tackles, two solo ... Registered four tackles, three solo, and one fumble recovery against Southern Miss ... Returned fumble 6 yards ... Had four tackles, with three solo, in win at Mississippi State ... Had season-best five tackles, two solo, vs. LSU ... Broke up a pass and had three solo tackles, and one assisted stop, vs. Tennessee ... Recorded career-best seven tackles, five solo, with half a TFL for minus 1 yard vs. Arkansas ... Had four tackles, two solo, vs. West Virginia ... Totaled a career-best eight tackles, with three solo, vs. Ole Miss ... Recorded six tackles, three solo, vs. UT Martin ... Against Georgia, had one QB hurry to go with five total tackles, four solo ... Had four total tackles, one solo, vs. Alabama.
2007 -- Sporting News SEC All-Freshman Team and Sporting News Honorable Mention Freshman All-America ... 11th on team with 35 tackles ... Started eight games ... Had three stops, including one solo tackle and a quarterback hurry against Kansas State ... Two tackles and a hurry versus South Florida ... Made first career start against Mississippi State, tallying three tackles ... Career-best six tackles against New Mexico State ... Four tackles at Florida ... Five tackles, including four solo stops against Vanderbilt ... Tied career-high with six tackles at Arkansas while helping holding All-Americans Darren McFadden and Felix Jones to 85 yards rushing combined, 197 below their season average ... For his efforts against the Razorbacks, was named Coaches' Defensive Player of the Game ... Two tackles at LSU ... Had two tackles in win vs. Ole Miss... Recorded two tackles vs. Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
2006 -- Saw time in three games ... Placed second on the team with five tackles, including three solo, at Mississippi State ... Posted a tackle for loss (-1) against the Bulldogs ... Played in his first career game against Washington State.
HIGH SCHOOL -- High School Coach: Kyle Rice ... Finished with 120 tackles, five sacks and three fumble recoveries as a senior ... Had 22 tackles in his final game in the state playoffs ... Had 140 tackles as a junior including a career-high 25 tackles vs. Madison ... Florida Sports Writers Association Class 4A second-team All-State as a senior ... Helped team to the second round of the 2005 Class 4A playoffs ... Selected to play in the CaliFlorida Bowl, representing the state of Florida ... U.S. Army All-American nomination ... Ranked 18th nationally among linebackers and the No. 41 player from the state of Florida by Rivals.com ... No. 36 in the Rivals Preseason Florida Top 100 and No. 41 in the Postseason Florida Top 100 ... Rivals.com Rivals 250 ... Ranked No. 74 at linebacker by Scout.com ... Ranked as the 35th-best prospect in Florida by the Orlando Sentinel.
PERSONAL -- Born Jan. 19, 1988 ... Son of Doug and Elizabeth Jones ... Earned degree in business management in May 2010 ... Major: Graduate.
Strengths: An athletic linebacker who plays well on the chase. Plays disciplined. Has good range because of his speed and lateral mobility. Takes good angles to the ball carrier, has a good closing burst to reach the ball carrier, and is explosive as a tackler. Aggressive polayer who attacks blockers and flashes the ability to disengage from them.
Weaknesses: Takes false steps off his reads occasionally. Not as effective in coverage as he is against the run. A half-step slow in reading routes and in dropping into coverage. Lacks the ability to consistently make a play on the ball in coverage.