Westerman Working To Get Into Rotation

Auburn freshman offensive lineman Christian Westerman talks about seeing his first game at Jordan-Hare Stadium and gives his thoughts on playing time.

Auburn, Ala.—Entering Auburn this summer as one of the nation's premier offensive line prospects Christian Westerman, like any freshman, had his sights set on starting from the moment he arrived on the Plains.

While that didn't happen and the left guard didn't see any action at all against Utah State, Westerman said it was still a learning experience for him to be a part of the opener and it's something he'll never forget.

"Experiencing college football for the first time was crazy," Westerman said. "It was one of the coolest moments of my life so far seeing all those fans and this team working together. It was way different than high school. I thought it was an amazing experience."

Unlike the other freshmen on the team it was not only Westerman's first game to suit up at Jordan-Hare Stadium, it was also the first time he's had an opportunity to see a game there. That alone made it a unique experience for the talented lineman.

"The atmosphere was awesome," Westerman said. "You just get this feeling when you're out there that's way different than anything you've ever experienced in high school, Pop Warner, or anything. Seeing all the fans cheering is really cool."

Christian Westerman is shown at a Auburn practice.

Dressed and ready for action against Utah State, Westerman spent his day watching from the sidelines and taking in the speed of the game and everything that goes into playing a college football game. One of the things that impressed him the most was the way Auburn's offensive line and Coach Jeff Grimes handled making adjustments on the run.

"I thought it was incredible how quickly they make adjustments to things," Westerman said. "In high school everyone is bickering, but in college everyone is really calm. I thought that was really cool how they stayed calm and got things done and went on to win the game."

Even though Auburn won the game there were plenty of things to be concerned about following the close call. One of those was the play of the offensive line where sophomore Blake Burgess was the only reserve to see action, coming in at guard after John Sullen got banged up.

If there are some changes to be done on the offensive line down the road Westerman could be one of those line for some playing time as he's currently second on the depth chart behind Jared Cooper at left guard. Just having a spot there and seeing his name in print was a big stepping stone said Westerman.

"That was a real big deal for me because I have been working my tail off in camp and every practice just getting after it," Westerman said. "When I saw that it showed that hard work does pay off. It was a special moment for me."

Heading into this weekend's SEC opener against Mississippi State at home, Auburn is looking to be more physical up front on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Whether Westerman will be a part of the answer this week, next week or later in the season remains to be seen, but he said he'll be ready if and when his name is called.

"Right now I'm just out there trying my best and giving it my all," Westerman said. "I'm working with the offensive line learning new things every day.

"College is a lot different than high school," he said. "I'm getting better every day and the team is getting better every day. As far as right now I don't know where I stand, but I know I'm working hard and trying to get to where I can get on the field."

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