AU Football Camp Attracts Bluechip Prospects

Several hundred high school football prospects, including some big ones, checked out the Auburn campus.

Auburn, Ala.--At a football camp with dozens of large linemen, it takes a really big prospect to physically stand out in the crowd. For Hephzibah High School's Fred Roland, that is an easy assignment.

The six-foot-eight inch, 300-pound senior to be offensive and defensive lineman was one of nearly 300 prospects on the Auburn campus on Saturday for the final football camp of the 2003 season at AU. The Georgia native says the trip to Auburn was well worth the time.

Fred Roland

"The camp was great," Roland tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I learned a lot. I learned a lot of technique on how to get into my stance. This is my first year playing offense and this camp helped me out a lot."

This is just Roland's third year playing football and his first to line up on offense after two years on defense. His size and athleticism may mean a move to offense will be his best option when he heads to college for the fall of 2004. Before that happens, there is still plenty of time to work on his game.

"This year I am working on improving my speed and my strength," Roland says. "I have conditioned a lot to get my wind up so I can play through the whole game." Roland bench presses 285 pounds and squats 455.

Lance Lee, a 6-6, 280-pound offensive lineman from Oxford, Miss., High School, attended the Auburn camp. Lee was one of the standouts of the Nike Camp that was held earlier this year on the Auburn campus. Saturday's camp attracted prospects from across the Southeast.

One of the features of the Auburn camp was instruction to the prospects on what they need to do to make sure they are academically eligible to enter college in 2004. Associate athletic director Virgil Starks told the campers they need to get with their high school guidance counselors and make sure they are in good shape with their core course schedule when they return to their hometowns.

Roland is a prospect who won't have to sweat the academic side of the equation. He is a member of the National Honor Society and says he will go into his senior season with a 3.6 grade point average. He is drawing attention from a large number of colleges with offers coming from as far away as the University of Colorado. He says his current top three includes Duke and Georgia along with the Auburn Tigers.

Tiger Ticket Extra: Campers got to eat lunch at Jordan-Hare Stadium and worked out at the intramural fields in the afternoon after doing testing that morning at the football complex. The players and coaches practiced through a summer rain shower that cleared before the end of the camp...Two of the South's top quarterback prospects participated in the camp. Blake Barnes, 6-3, 215 from Baldwyn High in Mississippi and Blake Field, 6-2, 185 of Cairo, Ga., who plays for North Florida Christian in Tallahassee, were impressive passing the football...Leon Hart, who is ranked as the No. 3 prospect nationally by TheInsiders.com, attended the camp with a pair of teammates. Hart is a 6-5, 285 offensive lineman from Spring Valley High in South Carolina, the school that sent linebacker Travis Williams to Auburn. Hart watched the action and didn't participate in drills nor did his teammate Mack Frost, a 6-5, 230-pound defensive end. Another Spring Valley player, 6-6, 235 defensive lineman Anthony Davis, showed good quickness and athleticism during the camp drills.


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