Young Tiger Hopes He Is Back on Track

Young tight end Tommy Trott could be a contributor on opening night for the Auburn Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--A standout performer in the spring, redshirt freshman tight end Tommy Trott got off to a slow start in preseason practices.

In fact, the 6-5, 254-pound tight end struggled so much in comparison to his play in spring that head coach Tommy Tuberville pointed it out as a concern during August workouts.

Trott, who displayed excellent hands in spring training and the ability to get open, was uncharacteristically dropping passes in August.

However, things have changed as the Tigers go into their Saturday night season opener vs. Washington State. Trott, who was considered the top prospect in the state his senior season at Trinity Presbyterian School in Montgomery, looks ready to contribute as a backup to senior starter Cole Bennett.

"Tommy has played real well lately," says offensive coordinator Al Borges. "I know a lot of people were wondering where Tommy was for a couple weeks, but the last couple of weeks Tommy has done a nice job."

Borges says with Trott playing better and another redshirt freshman, Gabe McKenzie, in the mix, he feels good about the tight end situation. "Gabe has improved steadily going back to two-a-days," Borges says. "He has tremendous explosiveness and sooner or later I think he is going to be a very good player for us."

Borges says that the tight ends will be a "very important" part of the 2006 Auburn offense. "We are using them a lot and we are using them more than at any time since I have been here," he says.

"Cole is a steady player for us," Borges adds. "He is an honor student and is not going to make a lot of errors. He understands the techniques of the position. Steve Ensminger does a good job of coaching up that stuff. As long as he stays healthy, I think he will be a reliable factor all year."

Earlier Borges mentioned that he was going to give true freshman Michael Goggans a serious look at playing time, but that is not expected to happen. "The plans are now to redshirt him. "It was not real close (on whether to redshirt him or not redshirt him)," Borges points out. "If somebody would have gotten hurt it would have been. I think in time Goggans is going to be a heck of a player."

Tight ends coach Steven Ensminger is counting on Trott to be a key player for the Tiger.

Borges hopes that Trott will be a heck of a player on Saturday night against the Cougars. The redshirt freshman says he is eager to get started to show he is ready to get the job as a receiver and a blocker.

At the end of spring drills, he noted that his goal was to improve as a blocker. "I feel like I have," he says. "That was our focus this summer and mostly through two-a-days that was my main focus. I think that was Coach Ensminger's main focus for me.

"You can't put me or any tight end on the field who is so one-dimensional he can't block," Trott adds. "That was my mission during two-a-days to become a better blocker. I feel like I have made strides. Still, I feel like I can get better, but I feel like I have come a long way since last year."

Borges says it is good to see Trott catching everything thrown his way once again. "I am feeling better out there now," Trott says. "I have my confidence back. I am catching the ball better. I feel faster and I feel like I am running better routes. I am excited about getting out and playing with a game on the line."

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