From The Chow Line To The Offensive Line

A healthy appetite helped pave the way for this Auburn football player's change of positions.

Auburn, Ala.--When Ben Grubbs arrived on campus in the summer of 2002, he was a 6-3, 248-pound linebacker. After brief stints at linebacker, defensive tackle and tight end, Grubbs has settled in as the first-string left guard at 302 pounds.

Grubbs, a redshirt sophomore from Elmore County High School in Eclectic, Ala., contributes most of his weight gain to his eating habits. "It wasn't hard to put on weight," Grubbs says. "I love to eat. I started eating three meals a day starting my freshman year when I moved into Sewell Hall. I wasn't used to that when I was at home going to high school so that was probably the main factor for me."

After playing all of last season at tight end and not catching a pass, Grubbs moved to offensive guard during the spring. "I was asked by the coaches to move," Grubbs says. "I didn't have any problem doing it as long as it helps the team, and it was best for me. I just went along with their decision, and I think it's going pretty good."

Grubbs and the Tigers worked out on the artificial turf on Tuesday after getting heavy rain earlier in the day.

Grubbs was a pleasant surprise for offensive line coach Hugh Nall in the spring. He was voted Most Improved Offensive Lineman at the end of spring training after moving ahead of Jonathan Palmer in the competition for the starting guard position. This is the first year for Grubbs to go through fall practice as an offensive lineman, and he admits it hasn't been an easy transition.

"It's a lot of work," he says "I still need to get my fundamentals down. Basically, it's just fundamentals right now. I know the plays, but I just need to get lower on my pass sets."

Despite gaining more than 50 pounds in the last two years, Grubbs says that he has been able to keep the same speed and mobility. "During my transitions, I got bigger but kept the same speed," he notes. "I haven't gotten any slower. I just have to learn to carry the weight better."

If he can continue to progress like he did in the spring and so far this preseason, Grubbs could prove to be a big asset for the Auburn offense and help pave the way for senior running backs Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown to put up impressive numbers.

"I'm still learning," Grubbs says. "I'm just taking it slowly, one day at a time. Hopefully, I'll get it. Coach Nall is working hard with me, so are my teammates. I'm just trying to get better."

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