Football Freshman Ready To Run

The former Parkview star is one of a large group of newcomers who hope to make favorable impressions on the coaching staff as preseason drills begin.

Auburn, Ala.--One of Auburn's early commitments for the 2004 class, 5-10, 183-pound running back Brad Lester, has hopes of earning playing time at tailback or as a kick returner.

"I've heard that I'm going to get a shot at returning kicks, but it hasn't really been discussed yet," Lester says. "I'm fine with redshirting. Of course, any freshman wants to come in and play, and that is how I feel. I want to come in and play, but if I have to redshirt, I'll be sitting behind two good running backs."

The two tailbacks at the top of the depth chart, seniors Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown, have each earned All-SEC status during their collegiate playing days. Both were outstanding high school backs like Lester, who put up big numbers for Parkview High in Lilburn, Ga. He ran for 1,621 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior and 2,057 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior.

Brad Lester joins what looks to be a talented group of running backs for position coach Eddie Gran to work with this fall.

Like most freshmen in this year's AU signee class, Lester came to Auburn early in the summer to get a head start on classes and conditioning.

"Before I came in here, I had no idea what the workouts were going to be like," Lester says. It's probably some of the toughest workouts I've ever done. I've learned a lot of the plays from Carnell, Ronnie, Tre (Smith) and Kenny (Irons). They have taken us through some of the running plays and passing plays."

Lester says he feels like he is in good shape to handle the heat and pressure of preseason drills that began on Friday. The Tigers will put the full pads on Tuesday and the first of what could be three preseason scrimmages is set for a week from Saturday. Lester and the Tigers will be back on the practice field at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday and will be at Fan Day from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

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