Senior To Handle Dual Roles For 2005 Tigers

Devin Aromashodu will be a busy member of Coach Tommy Tuberville's football team.

Auburn, Ala.--Devin Aromashodu only got three opportunities to run back kickoffs last year, but that is expected to change this year.

The senior wide receiver from Miami Springs, Fla., is expected to be the featured kickoff returner for the 2005 Tigers. Last year he got three chances and averaged an impressive 28.3 yards per return, up from an average of 19.3 as a sophomore.

This year Aromashodu is stronger and faster than ever and has high hopes that he can drop the big one on an Auburn opponent.

" "I am really looking forward to returning the kickoffs this season and hopefully getting one (touchdown) for the team," he says.

"We are really excited about our kickoff return team," he adds. "Coach Gran has been talking about returning one for a touchdown for a long time. I want to bring one to him since this is my last year."

Auburn has returned a kickoff for a touchdown since the 2000 season when Tim Carter raced 100 yards for a score vs. LSU.

Eddie Gran, the running backs coach who doubles as special teams coach, says he is expecting Aromashodu to have a good year, too. Gran says that the return team features a lot of good athletes with Aromashodu definitely being one of the best.

"Devin is a stronger and more mature player and we are looking for him to have a big senior season," Gran says.

Aromashodu agrees and notes, "I have definitely gotten faster working out with Coach Yox (Kevin Yoxall). I have been consistently working out with weights and that has made me stronger as well as faster."

The wide receiver says he can run a 40-yard dash in the "low 4.4s" as he prepares for the opener vs. Georgia Tech in a game in which he will be a primary target for quarterback Brandon Cox.

"I have been trying to be focused and concentrate in practice," he says. "I have been working on my hand placement on the ball. I have been catching a lot of balls over the summer trying to get into a groove and when you do that it makes it easier to make the hard catches."

Devin Aromashodu caught 24 passes for 513 yards with four going for touchdowns last season.

Despite a strong all-around preseason, Aromashodu is listed number two on the depth chart behind fellow senior Ben Obomanu. "It really doesn't bother me," says Aromashodu, who notes that he expects to see a lot of action.

He hopes a good bit of that action will be catching passes from Cox, Auburn's new starting quarterback. "He is coming along real good," says Aromashodu, who predicts that the lefty will prove to be a good quarterback like Jason Campbell was last season. "He is kind of similar to Jason except that his ball has a different spin on it," Aromashodu says. "At first it was harder to catch for me, but now I am getting used to it so it is about the same as Jason's."

Despite a 15-game winning streak, the Tigers go into the season ranked outside of the Top 10. Aromashodu doesn't like that, but says, "We know we have to prove everybody wrong and we can do that. It's okay though because we like being underdogs."

For Saturday night's opener vs. Tech, he says the offense is well drilled in what to expect vs. a very aggressive defense that the Yellow Jackets will bring to Jordan-Hare Stadium. ""We know what to do and we will be ready. Coach Borges (offensive coordinator Al Borges) always comes up with a good plan."

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