While Auburn had two players who did that last season in Marcus McNeill and Troy Reddick, it's not a normal occurrence for the Tigers, but it could be ready to happen again in 2003. A strong guard with quick feet and the flexibility to do the splits at the drop of a hat, 6-3, 294 Jarrod Britt from McEachern High in Powder Springs, Ga., has been gearing up for this chance and he said on Monday that he's ready to give it his best shot.
"I've been looking forward to this since I was five years old," Britt told a crowd of reporters. "It's kind of different. It seemed to take a long time, but I'm here now and just trying to get started.
"I just have to get out there and compete and do what I can. It's going from high school to college. It's a little different."
Jarrod Britt ponders a question during Monday's interview session with reporters.
Something that has helped freshmen of every position compete earlier is that they have begun reporting earlier and earlier to school during the summer to take classes and begin working out with teammates. That is something that Britt took to the extreme, taking three classes as well as mingling with his future brothers on the offensive line.
"A lot of the older guys have been working with me," Britt says. "They take you under their wing and look after you. Danny (Danny Lindsey), Taylor Bourgeois and Marcus McNeill are all looking after me. They take care of you. I've been practicing for a while trying to learn the plays. I've been here since May. I came here six days after graduation.
"I'm trying to get out there and earn some playing time," he adds. "I'll have to earn it because I'm starting at the bottom and going to the top. I just have to work."
Positioned at strong guard to open the preseason, Britt will compete with Thomas Anderson and Jonathan Palmer for the backup role behind starter Monreko Crittenden. That will be a tough order for Britt, but Tuberville says that if it can be done then Britt will have a good shot to do just that.
"We're going to look at him hard," Tuberville says. "Jarrod has a chance to be a good player. The offensive line is tough to play early, but he might be one of those you could throw over there and use him in the rotation. If he learns kind of like Troy Reddick and Marcus McNeill he'll be in the mix because he's got all the ability to get it done. The second team will be the cutoff for the offensive linemen. You have to break into the second team before we'll pull a redshirt off them."
You can bet that if it's up to Britt, he'll be ready to play when USC rolls into town on Aug. 30. He wouldn't have it any other way.
Tiger Ticket Extra: Britt gave an impromptu gymnastics display on Monday when he did the splits before a radio interview. His performance was easily the highlight of the day for everyone in attendance.