Young Lineman Tuning Up On and Off the Field

Young defensive lineman Sen'Derrick Marks discusses his first fall in college.

Auburn, Ala.--Redshirting under coach Kevin Yoxall's strength and conditioning program isn't always a pleasant experience, but freshman Sen'Derrick Marks and the rest of a talented defensive line class have used their first semester at Auburn to their advantage by putting on weight and improving their game play.

Marks, who says he weighs 283 and has gained 20 pounds since his arrival, is just one of many redshirting defensive linemen this year who played impressively in Tuesday's scrimmage at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

"We've been waiting on it and hearing about the Toilet Bowl," Marks says. "We've been waiting to get after them (the offense) and we had the edge over them. We went out there and gave them a little taste of what they wanted."

The offense had a tough time moving the ball against redshirts like Marks, Antonio Coleman, Alonzo Horton, Brian West and Rudy Odom as well as second-year player Nathan Farrow on the front four.

"It's been business around here with a game like Wisconsin to leave off with, so practicing like this keeps you into it so you won't just be deadbeat and practice won't be all boring," Marks says of the upbeat atmosphere of bowl practices. "Coach (Terry) Price (who ran the defense during the scrimmage) is happy about how we did. He said he can talk trash for a week now. Just like his players talk trash, he says he can talk trash to Coach (Greg) Knox (offense) for a week."

Many of the veteran players enjoyed their rest and had a good time watching the younger players do battle after facing them as a scout team since the start of the season. Starting noseguard T.J. Jackson says he watched the guys closely and was impressed with their intensity.

"They're all good," he says. "In a few years that is going to be a nasty defensive line. We have got a lot of guys coming back who can play some ball. It is going to be a good future for Auburn."

Sen'Derrick Marks saw some early season action as a true freshman.

The Tigers headed home for the holidays following Wednesday's practice, and Marks notes he is going to spend his time eating, hanging out with his family and playing with a new toy of his.

"I'm just going to go down (to Mobile) to be with my family for a little while," he says. "I'm working on a project--I've got me a car down there. I'll be working on that. Me and my family are just going to be sitting around, and me and my stepdad are going to be working on the car and that is it.

"It's a 1985 Chevy Caprice," he notes. "I'm going to get it right and have a little fun with the car."

Marks says that offensive tackle Oscar Gonzales, another redshirt, can't wait to see what Marks has done with his new ride.

"That's all he does, that's all he talks about is motors," he says of Gonzales. "He wants to go down there with me and see the car. He wants to see it so bad so maybe I'll bring it back up and let him look at it."

Marks played sparingly in the early part of the season for the Tigers before suffering an ankle sprain and then redshirting. He should be in the running for playing time and possibly even a starting position at defensive tackle next season with Wayne Dickens graduating.

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