Young Defensive Back Making Progress

Redshirt freshman Eric Brock is hoping to see playing time vs. the Wildcats.

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn special teams have performed well through the first seven games of the 2004 season, and one of the biggest contributors has been redshirt freshman Eric Brock.

Although the 6-1, 207-pounder is still learning at the free safety position, Brock is a member of nearly every special teams formation.

"Everyone has a role on this team and for us to achieve our expectations, everyone has to fulfill those roles," he says. "I try my best to do what I can. If that means special teams, then I'll do special teams."

Brock blocked four punts during his senior season at Benjamin Russell High School, and recorded his first collegiate blocked punt in the first quarter of Auburn's 33-3 win against The Citadel.

"It's a joy to just be out there on the field--any time you can help your team, and help your teammates get a win," he adds. "I just try to concentrate on a few things or maybe even one thing and do it as best I can."

With six of Auburn's seven games this season being blowout wins, Brock has been able to receive playing time at his safety position behind redshirt sophomore Will Herring. He says that he is getting better at playing safety, but there are still some things he needs to work on.

"The game is starting to slow down on defense now," Brock says. "When you first come in to the system, everything is moving rather fast. Game by game everything is starting to slow down and I'm starting to pick up the game plan every week. I'm understanding what is going on. It's just getting more familiar with the defense.

"We spend a lot of time in the film room, and they (Will Herring and Junior Rosegreen) tell me what is going on out there and what to look for," he adds. "They tell me some little things to pick up on. I need to work on my drop backs on the cover three. I'm not used to rolling to the middle thirds, but I'm working on getting better at that and trying to concentrate on it. The more I work at it the more comfortable I'll feel doing it."

Brock intercepted his first collegiate pass in the fourth quarter of Auburn's 43-14 win at Mississippi State. The Tigers' defense is ranked 11th nationally in yards per game allowed, and he contributes some of that success to the play of the defensive ends, including high school teammate Marquies Gunn.

"We have a good rotation of the ends there," he says. "A lot of the guys are getting a lot of rest. We are rotating well and everybody is getting their reps. They're just getting to the quarterback."

At 7-0, 4-0 in league play, Brock and the Auburn Tigers are looking to get one step closer to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta as the 1-5, 0-3 Kentucky Wildcats visit Jordan-Hare Stadium at 1:30 p.m. There is no television scheduled.

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