Auburn, Ala.--For senior offensive tackle Robert Leff, Saturday night is the culmination of a lifetime of work. With a dream of playing for the Auburn Tigers since he first started playing the game, Leff will walk out of the tunnel as a starter against the No. 2 Clemson Tigers. A player that has worked from the scout team to playing some tight end and now as a starter, the Fairhope standout said he can't wait to get it going.
"It's going to be a huge moment," Leff said of that moment when he steps on the field. "I'm ready to go out there and prove myself."
Proving himself is something that Leff has had to do since he first got an offer from the Tigers late in his senior season. Committed to Southern Miss at the time, Leff impressed the Auburn coaching staff and finally got the news he had been waiting a lifetime for. Always athletic, Leff has worked on getting bigger and stronger every step of the way and it finally paid off.
Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said that watching Leff develop and help the team in every way he could has meant a huge trust factor for the coaching staff in the fifth-year player.
"He’s a great story,” Lashlee said. “He’s one of those guys who stayed the course. He’s been here for a long time, had a different role probably every year. He’s probably a good story or lesson for those guys who maybe a year or two in at a major university and they’re not maybe starting right away like they want to. He hung tough.
“He really helped us last year, whether it be the roll, playing some tight end or maybe the injuries, especially late in the year, and did a nice job. He’s been a good run-blocker for us, and he’s a guy that’s smart. You can trust him. He’s playing on a different side, but he played there some last year when we needed him to. It’s just a good story. I’m glad he’s here with us, I’m glad we got him and I hope he plays to the best of his ability. I expect him to.”