Lester Plans to Be All Over The Field

Tailback Brad Lester discusses his many roles on the Auburn football team.

Auburn, Ala.--Being the backup tailback isn't the best position to be in, especially when you're behind Kenny Irons.

However, for Brad Lester, running second string doesn't mean that he will be a spectator most of the game.

"They're using me as a slot receiver, a fullback, a running back and that's the role coach (Eddie) Gran told me I was going to have to do in the spring," Lester says. "I look at is a good opportunity and more time on the field."

Lester was one of three tailbacks to start in 2005 for the Auburn football team. Tre Smith opened the season against Georgia Tech before Irons and Lester took over most of the carries the following weeks. Lester eventually won the starting job against Arkansas in mid-season, but was injured gainst the Razorbacks and wasn't 100 percent for the rest of the year.

Irons finished the season as a first team All-SEC performer and gained 1,293 yards on the ground. But since Gran bases playing time on production, Lester says that nothing is set in stone again this year.

"Coach Gran said that we were going to have the same opportunity as last year," Lester notes. "If I produce more the first couple of games then he's going to do exactly what he did last year. It's going to be up to the way I play. Coach Gran has always stuck with everything he has said."

Lester was impressive last season on kick returns, to say the least, with a 49-yard average with one touchdown on his four attempts.

Lester trots into the end zone on his 93-yard kickoff return against Ball State last season.

He and Tristan Davis are the two likely candidates to be lined up deep as return men in the season opener against Washington State on Sept. 2.

"Me and Tristan were talking about it not long ago," Lester notes. "It seems real easy for us because it's like playing running back except the defense is far away from you. All you have to do is find a hole and hit it.

"We worked at it all summer, too," he adds. "We'd stay before and after pass skel to catch some (kickoffs)."

In addition to playing tailback and F-back on offense and returning kicks, Lester is also in on just about every other aspect of the kicking game. He is one of the backup gunners to Courtney Taylor and Jonathan Wilhite on punt coverage.

"Coach Gran said I'd probably get a lot of reps doing that," Lester notes. "If one of them needs a break, and we come off offense and I'm not tired then I'll rotate in.

"Our punt team is going to be the best there is," he claims. "When he (punter Kody Bliss) kicks the ball and we're out at gunner we've got all day to get down there. He kicks it so high you don't even have to sprint full speed down there because the ball is in the air so long."

"Right now they have me backup on kickoff (coverage) to help out on that," he continues. "I'm also on punt return coming off the end. I'm pretty much in on all special teams. It's an opportunity to help the team get better. I don't think anybody likes it, but you've got to do it to win the game."

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