Following a redshirt year in 2000 and playing six games on special teams in 2001, Ages was awarded a scholarship prior to the 2002 season. Since then the 5-9, 187-pound defensive back from Carver High has been a role player in the Auburn secondary filling in the gaps wherever they may be, as well as playing in the Tigers' last 26 games on special teams.
And now, despite the fact that Ages is making a stronger push for the starting cornerback job opposite fellow senior Carlos Rogers--a goal he says he has always wanted to achieve--the senior says that his number one job on the field is as an educator.
"The main thing that I try and do is to share my experience with the young guys," the cornerback says. "I try to fill them in with the little things. Besides knowing the defense, it's the before the snap reads that will help. You learn that from experience. I try to pass that on to the younger guys to try and help them move along and come along a little quicker."
Lamel Ages prepares to line up in Saturday's scrimmage.
Ages explains that the leadership role is something that is handed down from group to group among players and that he does not intend for it to stop with his class.
"Oh yes, I love it," Ages says with a smile about mentoring the younger players. "People did that to me when I came here, the older guys before me. Larry Casher, Rodney Crayton and Roderick Hood they took me under their wing. They helped me out on the field. They told me how to play this and how to learn a defense. So, I owe it to them--we all owe it to the younger guys to help them on because they are all a part of our team that needs helping this year."
This season Ages hopes to be doing a lot of his teaching from on the field. Following a solid performance in Saturday's second major scrimmage of the spring, Ages, who has never started a game as an Auburn Tiger, wants to have the number one beside his name on the depth chart.
"Always," Ages says about his desire to battle for the starting job. "Anything that I can do to help my team. If my team needs me there at the number one spot, I am there. I am the man for it. I continue to work hard each and every day and that is a goal of mine to be a starter so I am going after it."
Ages recorded six tackles and two sacks in the major scrimmage last weekend and did a better job in coverage than first stringer Montae Pitts. Auburn defensive coordinator and secondary coach Gene Chizik declared the position open following the scrimmage after not liking what he saw from Pitts, a redshirt sophomore.
While Pitts struggled in the scrimmage, Ages says the lengthy session "was alright" on his part. "I just tried to go out and play with my technique. Play with fundamentals. Play within the defense and have some fun."
On Saturday the offense was having most of the success and was hitting big plays against the defense. However, Ages says that in a situation like that you just can't read too much into things.
"Well, in a scrimmage like that they are going to make plays," Ages says. "The main thing that our coach tries to tell us to do when bad things happen to us is to rally up and play the next play. They are going to make plays, going 140 plays, so they are going to have some good plays in there, but the main thing is to go back and look at film to see what we did wrong and correct it."
As for what the corner is trying to correct in his own game, Ages says that the small stuff is often the most important.
"The main thing with me is I have been going back watching a lot of film and paying real close attention to my technique," the senior explains. "Making sure that I am playing within the defense, reading my keys, doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. Paying attention to the little things is the main thing with my game now."