Backup Says He's Eager To Compete

Third string quarterback Calvin Booker discusses his status with the Auburn football team.

Orlando, Fla.--Despite being number three on the depth chart behind a sophomore (Brandon Cox) and redshirt freshman (Blake Field) with more quarterbacks on the way, Calvin Booker says he plans to keep competing for a starting spot.

Booker and other players who saw no playing time or limited action are receiving extra attention in bowl practices as the Tigers prepare for the Jan. 2nd Capital One Bowl in Orlando.

The 2004 signee from Mays High in Atlanta was in a three-way battle for the starting job last spring. Cox emerged as the No. 1 guy in spring drills and Field won the backup job in preseason practice and solidified the spot with a good performance as the starter vs. Western Kentucky when Cox was ill.

"I am going to be patient," Booker tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I would be lying if I said I never thought about leaving--early on in the season--after this season was over with. You have to really wait and see and watch how things unfold and see how things are going to happen, but I look at the opportunity I have here now and the future and I look at the opportunity I would have at any other school I could go to--it would be about the same.

"It would actually be dumb for me to leave," he adds. "Anywhere I go, I would only get to play two years like I might get to only play two years here, but I would rather play two years under Coach Borges (offensive coordinator Al Borges) any time more than any other coordinator in the country. I would rather play two years under Coach Tubs than any other head coach in the country. I would rather play two years here at Auburn than any school in the country."

Calvin Booker looks for a receiver in practice.

Booker says being coached by Borges, AU's second year coordinator, has been a good experience. "Talking to Coach Borges, that is why I really, really, really love playing for him. Whether you are actually in the game or sitting back learning, he is a brilliant guy and he is easy to play for.

"I look at him as a players' coach because he is relaxed," Booker says. "At the quarterback position you have so much going on, you don't need any extra added stress from a coach. He doesn't provide that. He provides the relaxation and comfort that a player needs.

"Just to know he still has faith in me and knows what I can do, that really gives me an extra boost because I know what I can do. I just have to show him. That is what I am excited about."

With Cox, Field and Booker on the roster and the Tigers expected to sign high school seniors Steven Ensminger and Neil Caudle in February, the Tigers could have five scholarship QBs on the roster next year.

Booker notes that he has heard rumors that he won't be in that group and will transfer to another college in search of playing time. "All of the questions about whether Calvin Booker is going to leave and go to another school, the answer is no," he says. "Calvin Booker is going to be right here competing."

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