Even A Rusty Irons Packs a Punch

After battling through academic problems and injuries early in his career, David Irons now has an opportunity to earn his degree and be chosen high in next year's NFL draft.

Auburn, Ala.--The defensive Most Valuable Player of Auburn's A-Day Game was certainly a talented football player, but it wasn't a player expected to make a lot of noise in the final scrimmage of the spring.

Senior cornerback David Irons missed much of spring training while focusing on his academic work, but all the time he spent away from practice while the others learned Will Muschamp's system wasn't enough to keep him from having a big day.

"When I get done with these four classes I should be done and graduate," Irons notes. "School is first and I'm trying to graduate in May so I can get my degree and I can just focus on football (in the fall)."

Even though Muschamp hasn't spent much time with his top cornerback, he says he's been impressed with what he has seen out of Irons.

"David has done some good things," the defensive coordinator and secondary coach says. "He has been occupied academically throughout the semester and he's going to graduate. That's first and foremost with him and his future right now. We've allowed him to take care of what he's got to take care of academically. David is a good football player."

Irons forced one of only two turnovers in the game on a pass from Brandon Cox to Courtney Taylor in which he had to wrestle the ball away from wideout Courtney Taylor.

Despite admitting to being a bit out of shape from missing practice, he also made several impressive open field tackles and he led the blue team with five solo tackles.

"I was still a little lost," he notes. "My safeties were helping me out with everything."

Naturally having a lot of energy, whether it's on the football field or talking to the media, Irons says his diet is what keeps him going.

"I eat a lot of candy," Irons tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I eat sweets. I eat a lot of Skittles, sugar and all of that stuff, so I stay energetic. I'm wild and I'm like Puff Daddy and I just party and do my thing. I stay with energy. I like to celebrate and dance on the field and all of that."

Irons breaks up a pass against Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl.

As a player with NFL potential, Irons had a big decision to make during the off-season. He could have chosen to go pro and take his chances in the draft, but he decided to return to Auburn for his final season and improve his draft stock while helping his team challenge for an SEC title.

Even though he decided to return, that didn't mean he would have the opportunity to suit up as a Tiger for another season. He still had to be granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA after missing two seasons over his career with a torn ACL.

The NCAA granted his wish, and Irons was able to return to Auburn to earn his degree and improve his draft status. He'll still have to pass a limited number of classes in the fall in order to be eligible for Auburn's bowl game at the end of the season, but he's not sure which classes he'll take.

"I might take some ballroom dancing," Irons jokes. That was the class that Southern Cal QB Matt Leinart took last fall to stay eligible. "I might take ballet," Irons adds. "I need to learn how to cook so I might take some cooking classes. I hope I don't burn up my kitchen."

His senior season will also give him another year of taking shots on and off the field at his younger brother, senior tailback Kenny Irons. The two Irons brothers will both have a chance in their senior seasons to earn all-star honors if they play to their potential.

"I don't know, I might take some plastic surgery (classes) to help my brother out with his face," David jokes.

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