Veteran Lineman Primed For Best Season

Athletic offensive guard Ben Grubbs doesn't get a lot of publicity, but he gets the job done.

Auburn, Ala.--Ben Grubbs (6-3, 303), one of the most experienced players on the 2006 Auburn football team, just wrapped up a strong spring and is expected to be a key performer for the offense as a senior.

After playing both defense and tight end earlier in his collegiate career, Grubbs has become a standout performer at offense guard.

"I'd say that in my three years of playing offensive line, this is my best year," Grubbs tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "My first year I was still kind of learning. The second year I didn't know what I thought I knew. This year it's all coming together. I've got a bit of experience and I feel pretty good about it."

Grubbs played linebacker at Elmore County High School in Eclectic.

Grubbs has continued to improve at guard throughout his career and should be an All-SEC candidate this season. He attributes that to his willingness to keep learning and never being content with his ability even after two years in the starting lineup.

"You can never get too much knowledge," he notes. "I learn something every day. I just try to listen and observe and fine-tune my fundamentals. It's just simple stuff like taking steps, shooting your hands, getting your head back. I try to work on that every day. You can never get too good at the little things."

The other starting guard is another senior in Tim Duckworth, giving Auburn possibly the best pair in the league. While the starters on the offensive line look to be a strength of the team, depth is still a question. Offensive line coach Hugh Nall says Grubbs has been able to help some of the younger players this spring while they continue to progress.

"He's a good player," Nall says of Grubbs. "He's in the third year in the same offense and he's a real experienced kid. He's very, very talented athletically.

"He's having a good year and he's able to help communicate when those young tackles get in with some things they need to see. He helps them out. It's good to have him in there."

Grubbs did an impressive job in pass blocking drills this spring.

The top four offensive guards on the depth chart, Grubbs, Duckworth and reserves Nathan Farrow and Tyronne Green, started their careers at Auburn on the defensive line before making the switch. As Farrow and Green continue to learn the fundamentals of playing offense, Grubbs says he has been able to help them since he was in their shoes early in his career.

"The other day Nate (Farrow) was getting frustrated," Grubbs says. "I just told him, ‘Hey man, I went through the same thing you're going through, but it was a lot worse.' Nate is doing really well out there. Tyronne picked it up quicker than I did. I just try to tell them to be patient and relax.

"Coming from defense you have that aggressive mentality so you always want to jump at the opponent," Grubbs adds. "You've got to let them come to you because they've got to get through you to get to the quarterback. Just be patient and work on fundamentals and listen to what Coach Nall is teaching you because he knows what he's talking about."

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