Young Man On a Mission

This Auburn freshman football player makes it absolutely clear that he wants to line up with his offensive teammates.

Auburn, Ala.--Anthony Mix will be a young man on a mission this week.

The six-foot-five, 239-pound freshman has been working out on campus all summer to hone his pass receiving skills. However, Mix can also play defensive end, a position where the Tigers are short on experience and depth.

Mix knows that he must produce as a wide receiver in practice this week or risk a position change.

"I don't want to play defensive end," Mix says. "I want to be a wide receiver. I have to show them I can play. I have to show them I can do it at wide receiver."

Mix has been in Auburn all summer working out. He originally signed with the Tigers out of Baldwin County High in February 2001, however, he did not academically qualify. He took the prep school route to Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia. He took care of his academic business there, but a wrist injury kept him sidelined in football. However, he is completely recovered and Mix says he feels stronger and faster than ever. "I really feel great," says Mix, who was also a basketball and track standout at Baldwin County High.

"The summer workouts really helped because I sat out a whole year. I made a lot of progress. I think I have gotten better running routes. I also believe I am faster than I was in high school. I got a lot of reps doing all of that. I think my hands are better, too."

Mix says by working with quarterbacks Daniel Cobb and Jason Campbell in voluntary practices this summer, he has learned the pass routes and that will give him a head start on the 2002 season. He notes that Cobb stayed after regular practices and worked out with him and several other freshmen to make sure they knew their assignments.

Anthony Mix

Mix also says that he feels like he is in great physical condition and doesn't foresee any problems getting through two-a-days. "Coach Yox (Kevin Yoxall) has been a big help on that," Mix says with a smile. "I am in shape and I don't foresee any problems with the heat in two-a-days."

Mix is one of six true freshmen receivers who are battling for playing time this fall. At least half of the newcomers are expected to play. The former Baldwin County High star is predicting there will be a major battle for playing time there because the five other freshmen and the returning wideouts were all on campus this summer training with the quarterbacks. "Nobody wants to get redshirted," he says. "Everybody wants to play. I have to come out and work hard everyday."

New offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino says he likes tall and fast wideouts who can cause matchup problems for smaller defensive backs. Mix says he hopes to be that man. Head coach Tommy Tuberville says he likes tall, athletic defensive ends who run like Mix. The Auburn freshman says he knows that, too, but has his heart set on being an offensive player. "I am going to do everything I can to stay at wide receiver," Mix says. "I want to have a great two-a-days. I want to get out on the field and play on Saturdays."

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