Roland Grabs 1st Offer, Talks Big Game

Auburn High standout Mitchell Roland talks about his first offer and getting ready to play in a big region game Friday night.

Auburn, Ala.—Friday night when Auburn High (5-0) takes on Central-Phenix City (5-1) at Duck Samford Stadium it will be one of the biggest games in Alabama this week and it will likely go a long way towards deciding the winner of Class 6A Region Three.

Having already lost to Dothan on the road in overtime, Central is in a must-win situation as they roll into town while, coming off a bye week, the Tigers are rested and ready for the challenge.

"When you talk about the region championship this is probably the biggest game we've played so far," Auburn linebacker Mitchell Roland said. "They just keep getting bigger and bigger as the season goes along. Central is real talented and pretty equal to us. It should be a good game."

While Central rides the arm and legs of Southern Miss commitment Jonathan Wallace, Auburn's balanced attack has players to watch on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Cameron Luper and wide receiver Cody Core can get it done on offense while Roland leads the defensive attack at linebacker. The son of former Auburn University standout Benji Roland, Mitchell said that he feels like the team is coming together more and more each game.

"I think at the beginning everything was a little shaky, but everyone has figured out their roles and kind of realized what they need to do," Roland said. "We are more comfortable in the system and it's all working out."

Getting more comfortable is exactly what Roland has done this season since making the switch from defensive end to linebacker in spring practice. At 6-0, 230 and with 4.6 speed in the 40-yard dash, Roland is a physical player that also excels when on offense as a lead blocker on short yardage. Defense is his home though and he said he's getting better every week.

"I feel good," Roland said. "In the spring and in the summer it was kind of new to me, but as the season has gone on I've gotten a lot better. It lets me run around a little bit more. It's kind of a more natural position for me than defensive end. I just think the more I play there the better I'll get."

It has taken a while for colleges to get a good look at Roland after making the move, but over the weekend one school decided they had seen enough. Now with his first offer under his belt Roland said he hopes more come rolling in now that the ice is broken.

"Troy just offered me this past weekend when I went down there for a game," Roland said. "It was great. It was my first offer. I just really appreciate them giving me a chance. I'm real happy about that. Troy is a great place. I would love to go there and play. I was real excited when they offered me, it kind of shocked me a little bit. I would love to go there. I know some of the coaches well. It's a good place. We'll see here in a few weeks if I'm going to go ahead and commit.

"I'm really interested in anybody that is going to look at me," Roland added. "The places that have looked at me are UAB, Southern Miss, Appalachian State, Wofford and Vanderbilt. They are calling me, but none have offered like Troy."


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