Hebert Has Football In His Blood

Walk-on Josh Hebert, AU's special teams player of the week, knows a good bit about competition growing up with 10 brothers and sisters.

Auburn, Ala.--For Auburn walk-on Josh Hebert, Saturday's 27-3 victory over Ole Miss was a game to remember.

Auburn had three kickoffs returned by the Rebels in the game and Hebert made tackles on all three. That was enough to earn him the special teams' player of the game, an award that Hebert says he still can't believe.

"With so many great special teams players and so much athleticism on the team and players on the team, it's such a big honor and award," Hebert says. "I thank my coaches for giving me the opportunity to get on the field and show what I can do.

"I can't even tell you how many times I used to lay in bed at night wanting to play college football," he adds. "I remember hearing about Auburn when I was in Texas. It was all Texas and Texas A&M, but when I heard about Auburn I fell in love with them right away. That's who I wanted to play for."

Hebert (39) makes the stop against the Rebels.

A 5-10, 190 redshirt freshman defensive back, Hebert caught the eye of the Auburn coaching staff with his hustle last season on the scout team and by the end of the year had earned a spot on the dress roster for homecoming. This season he has worked little by little into the kickoff coverage team and earned his first start against South Carolina. Three games later he's becoming known for his play covering kicks for the Tigers and says he's not satisfied with that at the moment.

"The best thing that I've found is don't come out here every day without a goal," Hebert says. "If I have already achieved certain goals on special teams then you have set the bar that much higher and go that much farther. If it means me playing an actual defensive back position then I would love that opportunity. You have to set your goal at each step of the way."

Hebert definitely has football in his blood. Before his older brothers walked on at Notre Dame, Rice and brother Justin walked on at Auburn, his father Rickey was a standout tailback for the Tulane Green Wave and later made a living in the oil business in Houston. In 1971 Hebert rushed for what was then a Tulane sophomore record of 819 yards. For the current college football player in the family, Hebert says that having such a large and successful family made him what he is today and that is a hungry player on the field looking for playing time wherever he can get it.

"I have four older brothers and two older sisters and if it was spaghetti night you better get your plate before everyone else does," Hebert says. "Having all those older brothers who are such hard workers and have achieved so much in their sporting careers I have learned that working hard is what really counts. That's something my parents instilled in all of us at an early age."

From a family that features his mother, father, and 10 brothers and sisters, Hebert has always had to fight for everything he got no matter what the circumstance. That came to attending school as well. After hearing about Auburn growing up, he knew after visiting the Plains that it was the place for him.

"My brother Justin came to Auburn and walked on," Hebert says. "He hurt his shoulder at the beginning of the spring, but we were coming to the A-Day game and instead came to a scrimmage. I fell in love with it. I kind of feel like a piece of me is doing this for Justin and my whole family."

Josh Hebert

An all-district defensive back from Klein High in Houston, Tex., Hebert wasn't offered a scholarship to play football in college. Instead he went the way of an older brother and say that he is thankful every day that he chose Auburn. Nothing cemented that more than the reaction of his teammates on Sunday when the coaches announced his name as the special teams player of the week.

"It just goes to show how great these teammates are," Hebert says. "They are amazing. They really want everyone to do good no matter who you are and they're really behind each and every player. That is what is so great about them is that the cheered and were clapping for me. I just hope I can keep helping out the team from week to week and working hard."


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