Big Back Hoping For Big A-Day Performance

Auburn's newest tailback, Brandon Jacobs, will show fans his running style on Saturday.

Auburn, Ala.--Brandon Jacobs has already proven to his teammates and coaches that he will be able to help the 2003 Tigers. On Saturday at Auburn's annual spring football game, he hopes to give a preview of coming attractions to thousands of Tiger football fans.

Auburn will wrap up spring drills with its annual A-Day game matching the first offense vs. the first defense and the second offense vs. the second defense. Kickoff time is 1 p.m. at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The game will feature 12-minute quarters and there will be no live kickoffs.

Brandon Jacobs (5) runs behind a block from wide receiver Courtney Taylor (86).

One of the more interesting things for fans to watch will be how the junior transfer performs for the Tigers after an impressive 2002 season at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas where he was considered the nation's top junior college running back. He rushed for 1,899 yards on 267 carries and scored 20 touchdowns.

At six-foot-four, 261 pounds, Jacobs has surprising speed for such a big back and is seriously pushing for a starting job at a position where the Tigers feature three players with starting experience--juniors Carnell "Cadillac" Williams and Ronnie Brown plus sophomore Tre Smith.

"I know they are going to have a lot of people there and I want to have this experience of playing in front of a big crowd," says Jacobs, who notes that in his playing days at Coffeyville Community College and Napleonville, Louisiana's Assumption High, a few thousand fans was the biggest audience he has performed in front of during a football game. More than 30,000 fans are expected to make the trip to Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday.

Fans in that audience will see a player who runs with an upright style with very strong legs. He has the ability to run over would-be tacklers, but notes he has had to make adjustments trying to cope with the defenders he has found at Auburn since transferring to AU in time for bowl practices in December.

"I have learned that everybody is a whole lot faster on defense," Jacobs says of SEC football. "Where I come from in junior college the defense is fast, but the D tackles are kind of slow, but some of them are fast. Here the tackles are fast, the ends are fast and just everybody is running around everywhere. It was kind of hard for me to learn, but I have learned a lot of things.

"I think I have gotten better running the ball. My next best thing is probably pass blocking. I have been having a problem with that, but I am getting it all in. That is something I am working hard on now at this point of time. I will keep working harder and harder at it."

Jacobs hasn't set a yardage goal for Saturday, but says that he wants to score at least two touchdowns in his first A-Day game.


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