2004 captains Carlos Rogers, Carnell Williams, Bret Eddins, Ronnie Brown and Jason Campbell (above) were part of one of the best teams in school history
Auburn, Ala.--While there was a football game on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium with Auburn's annual A-Day game taking place, probably the best plays of the day came in the minds and the stories of nearly 100 former football captains back on campus for a reunion and brick ceremony.
Placing bricks with the names of every former Auburn football captain along the Tiger Walk Plaza at the south end of the stadium, Auburn welcomed back some of the biggest names to ever grace the playing surface of Pat Dye Field.
Among the former players making the trip back were Lloyd Nix and Tommy Lorino from the 1950's, Ken Rice from 1960, William Andrews from the 1970's, Donnie Humphrey, Randy Campbell, Dowe Aughtman, Lawyer Tillman, Aundray Bruce, Greg Carr, Craig Ogletree, Benji Roland, Rodney Garner and Quentin Riggins from the 1980's, Lamar Rogers, Chris Gray, Ben Leard, Alex Lincoln, Colin Sears and Cole Cubelic from the 1990's and early 2000's, and Karlos Dansby, Dontarrious Thomas, Carnell Williams, Ronnie Brown, Jason Campbell, Carlos Rogers and others from recent Auburn history.
Two of the names that need no introduction are Liston Eddins and Bret Eddins. The father-son duo hold a special place in Auburn history with both serving as team captains for the Tigers. As a man who has been a part of Auburn football for much of his life with sons Bret and Bart Eddins also playing for the Tigers, Liston Eddins said it was a special day to be on the Plains.
"There were so many former players that haven't seen each other in a long time," Eddins said. "They mean so much to Auburn and Auburn means so much to them. It's extra special for me since my son Bret was also a captain. For us to get in front of all the other captains together really meant a lot for us."
Liston Eddins and son Bret Eddins, both Auburn captains, along with their families.
The history of the day wasn't wasted on Eddins as well. With so many top players in attendance together he said it's one he'll remember for a long, long time.
"It was really good and the great thing is everybody looked great," he said. "This group has really been blessed. They all talked about the love for Auburn and how much Auburn meant to each and every one of us. That was the underlying theme all day."
Jerraud Powers and Antonio Coleman were both big parts of Auburn's defense in the late 2000's.
A walk-on who started his career at Mississippi College, Alex Lincoln earned a starting role for the Tigers in his first season in 1999 and led the team in tackles each of the next two seasons in the middle at linebacker. Having old teammates such as Leard, Simmons, Cubelic and many others on hand made the day a big one for him he said.
"It really moves me to think about the history that's in this room, the generations of captains that have done the same thing, but we're just meeting some of them for the first time," Lincoln said. "Then seeing old friends, the atmosphere is really special. As a former player, being invited back and honored like this is incredible to be a part of."
Ben Leard and Alex Lincoln and their families pose for a photo. Both were key parts of the building of Tommy Tuberville's program.
A walk-on who turned himself into a key defensive player at linebacker for the Tigers, Lincoln earned a special place in Auburn history for his work on the field. He noted that being mentioned with the names that have been captains at Auburn is something he'll take away from the weekend with pride.
"It's really cool," Lincoln said. "You start to see the guys you had a thrill to play with like Ronnie Brown. Ronnie was a freshman and I didn't know how awesome he was going to be after the fact. Getting to see him again and be exposed to that is really special. Kendall Simmons is here and was incredible. Then you just see the older guys that led the way. That's really more special to me than the big names.
"Then I think about a guy like Jonathan Wallace, who I got a chance to know," he added. "The character he has is what embodies a captain. It's not just being able to make a great tackle or be a great quarterback, but the character that's in this room. From generation to generation I picked guys out of the crowd that are special for me to take a look at."
Joe Frazier, Craig Ogletree, Darrell Crawford and Corey Barlow returned to campus.