Gandy Making The Most Of Opportunities

Auburn football signee Steve Gandy talks about his summer schedule and preparing for the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.

Waynesboro, Miss.–-One of Auburn's top signees is just getting started on a busy summer and first up is a trip to Mobile to play in the annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic at Ladd Stadium. Wayne County High safety Steve Gandy finished school just two weeks ago and is pointing towards a good career as a Tiger, but first he has one more game to play as a high-schooler.

"I leave Sunday to go to Mobile," Gandy tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I'm excited about the opportunity and I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully we can win, but if not I just look forward to playing in the game. I'll do my best."

One of the top players in Mississippi last fall, Gandy had schools from all over the country courting him before he decided to become an Auburn Tiger. A school on his list for a while was Southern Miss where his uncle Sheldon Gandy was on the coaching staff. A player for the Golden Eagles during the Brett Favre days, Sheldon has been very instrumental in helping Steve get ready for the world of college football.

"We've talked about practices and things like that," Gandy says. "He just tells me that everything doesn't always go the way you want it to go and that's when you have to keep playing and keep pushing yourself. He also said that it might seem like things aren't meant to be, but you have to keep practicing and pushing yourself and before you know it you'll be the best player on the field."

Steve Gandy

A tennis player the last three years in addition to football and running track, Gandy says that he just ran track this spring and concentrated on spending time with his family. The extra time has also allowed him to begin workouts sent to him by Coach Kevin Yoxall. The plan was similar to what Auburn players did in the spring and it left the freshman-to-be in awe of what to expect when he arrives on the Plains.

"The workouts are so hard," Gandy says. "One of those workouts is something we might do in three days in high school. That makes it tough. I haven't done the summer workout because I'm coming to Auburn on Monday after the all-star game. I'm just giving myself a break because I know that when I get to Auburn the next four years of my life will be filled with weights."

Last season Auburn's struggles at the safety position were well documented as inconsistent play led to some big gains for opponents at key times. That was a position of need for the Tigers during the recruiting season and Gandy says that the coaching staff is going to give him a shot at both safety positions this fall and he's ready for the challenge.

"I just want to come in and play and help my team any way I can," Gandy says. "I just want to go in and play and show them my talent. There is no doubt that I believe I can come in and play. I'm going to get a look at safety first.

"That's one of the reasons I went to Auburn," Gandy adds. "Coach (Gene) Chizik convinced me that I will have a great chance of playing. I think I can play anywhere in the country, but my chances at Auburn are good. I saw a couple of games and thought that maybe I could have made that tackle or made the play."

For now Gandy is concentrating on getting the most out of the time he has left with his family and friends. While football is very important to Gandy he says that living up to the dreams his parents have for him, both on and off the field, come first and foremost in his life.

"I'm just trying to get in better shape for the fall," Gandy says. "My mom and dad expect a lot out of me when I go to Auburn. That's why I'm moving over there right after the game. I want to get in the weight program like my teammates. I can do it at home, but it's nothing like having your teammates and coaches pushing you. They're (parents) expecting me to do good and I'm not going to let them down."

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