"It's All Good" For McKenzie

Tight end Gabe McKenzie discusses his performance in Auburn's 34-0 win at Mississippi State.

Starkville, Miss.--Tight end Gabe McKenzie wasn't known as much of a receiving threat out of Davidson High School in Mobile when he signed with Auburn in February of 2005. He was known more for his physical blocking and brute strength.

In his first year on the Plains he redshirted behind Cooper Wallace and Cole Bennett while working on becoming a better all-around football player, which meant spending long hours catching footballs.

Auburn had a difficult time running the football against eight and sometimes nine guys in the box, so when the Tigers got down to the Mississippi State six-yard line they called on a pass play to get the first points on the board. With two tight ends split to the left, quarterback Brandon Cox faked the toss to the right, rolled out and found McKenzie open in the flats.

He had one defender between him in the goal line.

"I jumped over him and he flipped me," an overly excited McKenzie says, grinning ear to ear. "I fell on my neck, but I got the touchdown. I'm happy and I was glad to get in there. I'm excited baby. It came to me, I got it and I'm excited."

Not only was it his first collegiate touchdown, it was his first collegiate catch.

"The tight end was a read against the corner," he explains. "It could have gone to either one of us. I knew I had to get in there."

McKenzie finished the day as Auburn's second leading receiver with four catches for 42 yards and the six-yard score. He says coming into the game he had no idea he was going to play that much a part of the offense.

"I guess if you keep catching them then they're going to keep throwing to you," he says. "It's all good."

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