Season Of Redemption For Young And Tigers

Redshirt freshman tackle Avery Young talks about his comeback season and the turnaround for the Auburn Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--A starter the first three games of his Auburn career before an injury cut short his 2012, season, big Avery Young worked hard throughout the offseason to get his edge back in preparation for his second season with the Tigers. Still rusty when the Tigers kicked off the year with a win over Washington State, Young kept working in practice and finally got his shot in game six against Western Carolina.

A mainstay at right tackle since that time, Young's consistency and physical play has taken the offensive line play to another level. Following a long road to recovery from surgery, the redshirt freshman said for him it was all about being prepared when his time came.

"Really it was just getting better and taking it a day at a time," Young said of his focus. "Just learn and get back into the game coming from an injury like I had, it wasn't like I was trying to rush back out there, because that wasn't the point. I was a little rusty. I was out for a whole year. So really I was just taking my time day by day to get healthy again, so when my number was called I would be able to step up and help my team the best I could."

By the time Young started playing the Tigers had already started down the path to the SEC Championship. Getting important wins along the way against teams such as Mississippi State and Texas A&M to set the stage for two wild wins over rivals Georgia and Alabama to close out the regular season, Young said it has just been a gradual process of confidence built for this team piece by piece.

"It really just started from the big games we had, playing like Mississippi State and just doing the things we did throughout the season," Young said. "It's like the big pass in the Georgia game: It's never over until that last second is off that clock."

Young is a physical run blocker on the right side for the Tigers

Auburn didn't need any last-second heroics to take down Missouri in the SEC title game, setting them up for a date in the BCS National Championship Game against Florida State on Jan. 6. Rushing for a game-record 545 yards on the way to a 59-42 win, Young said it's hard to imagine how far this team has come in just 12 months time.

"Wow, that's big right there," Young said. "It feels real good. This team just believes in each other so much even though a lot of people don't. We just get it done. It's a great feeling coming from the season we just had. Little do people know that it's the same guys, nothing has changed. Yes we've got Nick Marshall, and he's a great person and I'm so proud of him, but it's the same people up front that were so young last year. We're still here. Just knowing that we can get this done is a motivating point in our life."

Facing yet another underdog situation when they take on the Seminoles, the Tigers are busy preparing to clear one more obstacle on the way to their second national title in four year. A group that has focused on not looking ahead and staying grounded since Gus Malzahn arrived, Young said that is again the plan as they take it slow and easy getting ready for college football's biggest game.

"We're just going to play as a team," Young said. "We're going to do our job and take it one play at a time."


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