Receiver Hoping To Finish Career On High Note

Ben Obomanu talks about his final Iron Bowl and what it means to him.

Auburn, Ala.-—Auburn senior wide receiver Ben Obomanu has accomplished a great deal in his career as a Tiger. Third in career touchdown receptions with 17, tied for 11th in career catches with 90 and 14th in career receiving yardage with 1,238 yards, Obomanu has proven to be one of the most productive receivers in Auburn history.

Even with the numbers and his name all throughout Auburn's record books, the Selma native says that playing his final home game against Alabama is the biggest game of his career at this point.

"It means a lot," Obomanu says. "You always think about that cross-state rival. You have a lot of friends that play for Alabama. They always talk about how they haven't won since they've been there and the same as far as me, I haven't lost since I've been here.

"The main thing we want to do is continue to win and not look for those personal achievements and continue to our chances of going to the SEC Championship."

Obomanu is at home in the end zone for the Tigers.

As one of the country's top-rated wide receivers his senior season, Obomanu was recruited by schools from coast to coast. In the end his decision came down to Auburn and Alabama. He says that while he definitely considered going to Tuscaloosa, in the end he might the right decision for him.

"I actually took a visit over there," Obomanu says. "A lot of people thought I committed over there, but when I was being recruited that's when they were on probation and a lot of things were going on over there. I have a lot of friends there and even know some of the personnel still. It's going to be a great chance to play against those guys.

"At Alabama they have a lot of tradition and great things that go on," he adds. "I have some friends that even go there. I still believe I made the right choice. I'm proud that I came to Auburn."

Two years ago Obomanu had his highlight against Alabama to this point in Auburn's 28-23 victory over the Crimson Tide. Catching a slant, he broke a tackle and turned the play into a 64-yard touchdown. It's the second-longest play of his career and still his fondest memory in the series.

"My biggest memory was scoring a touchdown two years ago," Obomanu says. "I caught a slant and spun off a tackle and ran 60 yards for a touchdown. That's probably my most memorable moment because growing up I always dreamed about playing in an Iron Bowl and scoring. To actually have that chance is something I'll cherish for a long time. Hopefully, I'll get that chance again Saturday."

This season things started off slowly for the Tigers and Obomanu. Despite throwing for 342 yards in the season opener against Georgia Tech, Auburn fell to the Yellow Jackets. A later loss to LSU on the road put the Tigers' backs up against the wall, but they've responded with road wins at Kentucky and Georgia to set the stage for a possible Top 10 finish in the polls for a second-straight season. Obomanu says that although they'll still be disappointed in the season somewhat, finishing strong would be a good way to end for this senior class.

"It would be huge, especially the way we started off with that first loss to Georgia Tech," Obomanu says. "A lot of people said we weren't very good, especially with all of the teammates we lost last year to NFL. There were a lot of questions going into this season. To end up in the Top 10 would be a great way to finish and a great achievement for our team, but at the same time we're still taking it one game at a time and let everything else take care of itself."

The one game is the biggest of the season for the Tigers as they take on a 9-1 Alabama team that has its only loss in overtime to LSU. Obomanu notes that this is a chance once and for all to prove that his team was the best the entire time he was in school at Auburn.

"With the success they've had this year there's always been the question of who's the best in the state this year Alabama or Auburn," Obomanu says. "Just to be able to get a lot of questions answered and see where we measure up against them is going to be a great opportunity this weekend.

"In these Iron Bowls you throw out the record and throw out everything else that happened the whole year because you never know what's going to happen," he adds. "In years past both teams always came in and put up a good fight. It's going to be a chance for us to forget about some of the things that have happened this year and have bragging rights."


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