Coming Into His Own

This Tiger wide receiver is beginning to show the talent that Auburn coaches and fans have been waiting to see.

Auburn, Ala.--His stats aren't eye-popping with just five catches for 70 yards. His name doesn't come up in conversation when discussing the best of Auburn's receiving corps. And, he still has a long way to go before he is even the most famous Auburn football player in his own family. His father, Secdrick McIntyre was a star running back for the Tigers in the early 70s.

However, don't sell Jeris McIntyre short. The sophomore is showing hints of becoming a go-to receiver during crunch time. And he's been making the plays.

Jeris McIntyre is emerging as a go-to target for the Tigers

The six-foot, 206-pounder injured a hamstring early in the season and is just now getting back to his old self. "That set me back a little bit," McIntyre says of his injury. "I had to get back into it and lately I have done that. I just try to help the offense the best way I can."

McIntyre only missed the Ball State game due to his injury, but didn't make his first catch of the season til the Florida game. It was his second catch vs. the Gators which helped set up Damon Duval's game-winning field goal. McIntyre's 12-yard reception gave Auburn the football on the Florida 45-yard line and it was the last pass play of the night for the Tigers. The Tigers then ran the ball four consecutive times before Duval's 44-yard kick.

The Tampa native says it is just coincidence that all five of his receptions this season have come with Daniel Cobb behind center. "Whoever is in there can get the job done," McIntyre says. "I don't think it's Daniel being in there. He's doing a good job, but I don't think it has anything to do with it."

Coincidence or not, Cobb turned to McIntyre again late in the Louisiana Tech game after the Bulldogs had tied the game at 41. On Auburn's final drive, the pair connected on two passes for 33 yards which set up another game-winning field goal attempt by Duval. This time the junior kicker missed, but being able to make those catches is only helping build McIntyre's confidence in himself. "My confidence has always been there," McIntyre says. "Just getting in there and feeling a little more comfortable with the offense and by getting in there and catching a few balls, my confidence level is a little higher than usual."

The Tigers went on to went on to beat the Bulldogs in overtime. McIntyre, who had three catches for 44 yards vs. Tech, credits his recent string of catches in the clutch to him getting open instead of Cobb singling him out and trusting him to make the catch. "We just run the plays and if I'm open, then they make good throws with the ball," McIntyre says. "I don't think it's necessarily them going to me, it's just the plays we're calling and me getting open is why that is happening."

Regardless of what the humble McIntyre says, it is evident that Cobb is beginning to form a nice connection with No. 81 and the Arkansas team the Tigers face this week will have to prepare a little extra for Auburn's newfound aerial assault instead of just focusing on the Tigers' ground attack.

"Before La Tech, they were probably thinking run, run, run," McIntyre says. "Now they have to be prepared for the pass as well now that they have seen we can throw the ball. I really think us throwing is going to help because it is going to open up the run as well."

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