Originally signed by the Tigers two years ago as a highly regarded running back out of Dacula, Ga., High, Irons did not qualify academically to enroll at Auburn for the 2001 football season. Instead, he headed north to Kansas to attend Butler County Community College. He redshirted his first season there while recovering from a knee injury and then played cornerback last fall for the juco power and did it very well.
Auburn defensive coordinator Gene Chizik liked what he saw and made the decision to re-sign Irons, this time to play on the other side of the ball. With a cornerback vacancy in the starting lineup with Roderick Hood and Horace Willis being seniors last fall, there is a golden opportunity for Irons to join the team in August as a sophomore and play immediately. However, before he can do that he has to pass two more classes to become eligible at AU even though he earned his associate's degree at Butler County Community College in May.
David Irons, Jr.
Irons started classes at Southern Union Community College in Opelika last week and plans to take part in voluntary summer workouts on the Auburn campus with his new teammates. He would like to put on a couple of pounds over the summer, too, on his six-foot-one inch frame. "Right now I weigh 184 or 185 and I would like to play at 190," Irons says. "I don't want to get too heavy and lose my speed though."
Irons says he is excited about the opportunity awaiting him. "The coaches told me that there is a spot open at cornerback so I am going to come in and compete and see what happens."
Irons is now completely recovered from his knee injury. "They told me it would be about a year before that happened and I am not having any problems with it," notes.
Irons was impressive as a cornerback last fall for Butler County. He led his team in pass deflections with 11, made 45 tackles and caused two fumbles even though opponents often attacked the side of the field opposite the AU signee who picked the Tigers over Florida State and others when he signed again this February. He showed a physical style of play, something that the Auburn coaches expect from their defensive backs.
Irons says he is excited about finally getting the chance to put on an Auburn uniform and compete in the SEC where his brother Kenny is a running back at South Carolina. "I am going to get it done in the classroom this summer," he says. "I have been waiting too long not to do it."
Tiger Ticket Extra: Auburn took a recruiting interest in Irons after he rushed for 1,349 yards and 18 touchdowns his junior year at Dacula High and won his region championship in the 200 and 400 meters as a track sprinter. He was a standout at several summer football camps, including one at AU, running times at under 4.5 in the 40. Auburn offered the tailback a scholarship even though he had a less impressive senior season due to injuries--an MCL sprain plus an ankle problem. In limited playing time, he rushed for 710 yards on 83 carries and scored 10 touchdowns and caught 18 passes for 277 yards and five scores. For his high school career, the son of former NFL player David Irons, Sr. averaged 9.1 yards per carry and scored 43 touchdowns.