"May The Best Man Win"

Confidence can sometimes be deadly when it becomes excessive, but that's not the case for this redshirt freshman.

Auburn, Ala.--Redshirt freshman cornerback Junior Rosegreen is still short on college football experience, but not on confidence.

Based on Rosegreen's recent performances in games and practices, the former Dillard High star will have a chance to do something about that lack of experience.

During the off-week, the Auburn coaches put some of their walking wounded on the sidelines in hopes to getting their closer to full speed for the Georgia game. That meant more attention for younger players like Rosegreen.

A role player for much of the early season, the redshirt freshman has played himself into an increased role with his performances each of the last two games and his head coach says that his time in the spotlight is drawing near.

"Junior is probably the best technique defensive back we've got," Tommy Tuberville notes. "His technique really showed the other day (in Arkansas). He just stymied the guy at the line of scrimmage when they called for our first pass interference in the end zone. It was just good technique and the quarterback threw the ball out of bounds because the guy couldn't get off the line of scrimmage…He continues to get better. He's probably the hardest worker in the secondary on the little things. We're going to play him more and more. He'll be a starter very soon if he continues to improve."

Rosegreen talks to Tuberville during a break in practice during the off-week.

Those words are music to the ears of Rosegreen, who has continually proven himself in practices this fall and game situations when given the chance. Coming from the talent rich South Florida area with outstanding credentials, it has taken Rosegreen a little longer than he had hoped to get into the rotation but now that he's there, he doesn't plan on coming out any time soon.

"I just feel that I'm going to go out there and get better and better as the days go by," he says. "Since day one I feel like I should have been starting but I'm not the coach. I just feel like I have to go out there and keep proving myself day in and day out."

Rosegreen waits on the defensive signals at the line of scrimmage after shutting down an opposing receiver in practice.

There are many different ways to go about becoming a better player. One of the best is to watch films and learn as much as possible about your opponent. While he does that, Rosegreen says one his biggest things is to watch video of wide receivers from across the country and see how defensive backs try to handle them.

"I watch film," he notes. "I watch a lot of other teams and see how they play. I watch Miami, some of their good receivers, and see how they do things. Andre Johnson and Kevin Beard, I know them and I watch how the cornerbacks play them. They play them with fear, they're scared. That's why Miami receivers always do them in."

Playing scared is something that is not in Rosegreen's vocabulary. A no-nonsense player that likes to talk to his nemesis as much as possible on the field, he notes that his history of playing against top-flight receivers in high school has given him the confidence that he can play with anyone at any time.

"Coming from Dillard High, we produce the best players," Rosegreen says. "By me playing against Andre, Kevin, Reggie Vickers (Florida) and Tony Brown (Tennessee), there is nobody I fear. That's why when we were about to play Florida I was ready. Plus me and Jabar Gaffney had talked on the phone and he was telling me the corners were scared of him. I told him I wasn't going to be scared of him. I was going to get in his face and he was going to bring his 'A' game because I was bringing mine and may the best man win."

Following in the footsteps of one of his idols growing up, Rosegreen says that he is striving to become as sound as possible in the fundamentals of the game. That means watching some of the best in action every chance he gets. While he mentions Champ Bailey, Charles Woodson and Fred Smoot as guys he admires, there is one cornerback that he says embodies what he wants to become as a player.

"My technique is getting real fundamentally sound," he says. "A cornerback that has real good technique, that makes them look faster. Deion (Sanders) has great technique. I have a lot of tapes on him and his technique is what makes people fear him. Quarterbacks in the pros are the best of the best. If you have those guys scared to throw at you then that's telling you you're the best. That's what I'm shooting for."

If he continues to improve each and every week, it won't be long before that becomes a reality.


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