West Comes East Looking For Football Home

This newcomer talks about his transition to college football and life in Auburn.

Auburn, Ala.–-Looking for depth up front on the defensive line this fall, the Auburn Tigers will look at several young players behind veterans Tommy Jackson, Wayne Dickens and Josh Thompson in the middle. One of those will be incoming freshman Brian West from Ozen High in Beaumont, Tex.

A 6-4, 264 lineman was a terror up front in high school with the quickness to make plays in the backfield. West has all the intangibles to move into the playing rotation this fall for the Tigers. Following a strong summer in the weight room and in the classroom, West says that he's ready to see how a football season is on the Plains.

"It was kind of nice," West says of his summer in Auburn. "There weren't that many people around as there is in the fall, but it really changed. Once we started workouts I have met a lot of people. You get to know the program here and also the academic side of things and getting our degree plan ready for the rest of our careers at Auburn.

"It has been hard, especially the summer workouts. I'm from Texas and it's hot, but it's real hot here," he adds. "I'm just getting adjusted to the heat.

"For me it was good because I got familiar with my academic counselor and the academic help that we'll have along the way," West says. "I got to know the different people out there helping me and just the friendly people around Auburn. To meet new friends outside of football was good."

West has the frame to get much bigger in the coming seasons and could play in the 290-pound range.

A very good student who takes his academics seriously, West says it was important for him to get settled in academically as well as socially in Auburn before the busy fall semester and football season began. Part of that settling in process was getting into the workout regimen established by strength and conditioning Coach Kevin Yoxall. While West was in good shape coming in he says it has been more than he bargained for.

"It's a lot tougher than I expected," West says. "I expected it to be hard, but actually doing it and putting my mind to it to get up early and get out there and push those sleds, you really have to get your mind focused. Then you have class at 8:15 so your day starts early and you don't finish until late. You really have to adjust your body from going to school at 8:30 and getting out at 2:30 and not having to work out."

An advantage for West has been the leadership of players like Jackson this summer, both in the video room and on the practice fields. When the skill players were busy throwing routes and in 7-on-7 drills, the defensive line would be working on pass rushing drills and techniques such as the swim move and rip move. West says having veterans to show him the ropes is a big advantage because of their experience in the league and their knowledge of the game.

"Most of them are good leaders and they have winning on their minds," West says. "I haven't met anyone yet that feels like this season is just going to be given to them. They always tell me that you have to work hard and they're real good about showing me the different techniques that you use and how to do it. They're real kind trying to help you out, they're not trying to cheat you out of anything. They're real friendly."

It should be apparent early when the full pads go on whether or not West will be able to help the Tigers this season. Battling for playing time with fellow freshmen Rudy Odom and Sen'Derrick Marks in addition to reserves Pat Sims and Tez Doolittle, West says that if he gets into the heat of the battle in will be a big confidence booster for him in only his first season.

"It's very exciting to me because they've got guys here that have been here a long time and put in the effort and have worked hard," West says. "They've got the bulk and the size. For me to actually go into competition for them is going to be a great accomplishment for me."

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