Atlanta, Ga.--Auburn defensive back signee Marlon Character got the good news he has been waiting for when he found out on Wednesday he will be academically cleared to join the other members of the Tigers' 2016 football signee class.
Heading to the Plains on July 31 to start the next chapter of his life with the Tigers, Character said he’s relieved to have the qualifying process behind him.
“I got the news yesterday when my final grades came back and they posted it,” the 6-1, 180-pound prospect said. “The coaches were saying as long as I got that grade and they posted it and could see it...I sent it to them but I’m going to print it out and send it again just to be sure they have it, but from the looks of it everything is good to go.”
In the spring when it looked like his grades would be good enough to get him in school, Character said he was working out hard and got his weight up to close to 190 pounds.
When he got the bad news that work still needed to be done, however, it hit him hard. He lost almost 10 pounds in the next two months as he focused on his academics with the emotions of possibly not getting to Auburn weighing heavily on him.
Now that’s behind and Character noted that he can’t wait to get to work. “I just almost wanted to cry because it feels better than when I signed,” he said. “I’m just relieved. There’s no more stress. I can finally get down to business and start to finish my goals.”
Working with a personal trainer, Character said he is in good shape as he prepares to try to play catchup with his teammates as quickly as possible during preseason camp.
“I think I’m in a good position right now to come in and get some work in,” Character said. “I’m in shape so I think I’ll be fine.”
Something that should help Character is that he’s already very familiar with some of the veterans on the AU team like senior defensive backs Josh Holsey and Rudy Ford. He said he plans to lean on those guys heavily in camp to get him ready as quickly as possible.
“I know them so it won’t be hard,” Character said. “Coming in, I’m just trying to learn, learn, learn, and get used to thing. I have to get used to the playbook, used to the workouts, used to waking up and going to class. I feel like they’ll help me out. I’m going to lean on them.”
Reporting two days earlier than the rest of his teammates to get situated and prepared, Character will join the rest of the team on reporting date on Aug. 2. Auburn begins practices one day later on Aug. 3.