Freshmen Lineman Making His Move

Another talented member of the 2002 Auburn freshman football class could see early playing time for the Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--In a 2002 Auburn freshman class filled with large and athletic signees, it is difficult to stand out. However, Troy Reddick has done it and is pushing for playing time as a backup offensive guard.

Hugh Nall, who coaches the offensive line, has kept Reddick and fellow freshman Marcus McNeill after practice for special tutoring, an indication that the offensive line coach is grooming the freshmen for possible backup duty this fall.

Troy Reddick (in blue) battles fellow freshman T.J. Jackson in a one-on-one drill.

"It is a pretty good sign when the coach spends extra time with you," Reddick says. "I guess he wants us to get a little bit extra work in so we'll be prepared coming into these next two or three weeks."

Reddick, a 6-5, 310-pounder from Westover High in Albany, Ga., comes into a situation where the Tigers are replacing three starting offensive linemen so there is an opportunity to make a push for playing time. Reddick came to campus early this summer to work out and get a head start on his freshman season. The decision looks like a wise one.

"Pushing the starters is exactly what I had in mind for my freshman season," Reddick says. "I want to be in that second string before the season and coming in early helped."

Reddick has practiced at both guard and tackle, but in recent workouts has been playing guard. He says that he is not real sure which one is his better position in the long run. "The defensive tackles in college are bigger," he says. "I played guard for the last two years in high school, but I don't know if I am strength-wise ready for that right now. And I've just got to get my speed up some more to work the edge."

Troy Reddick did not allow a sack his senior season at Westover High School.

Head coach Tommy Tuberville has noticed Reddick's quick feet and willingness to work. He has not been bothered by the intensity and heat of summer two-a-days, which are hard to handle for many newcomers. Reddick says that he feels like he is in the best shape of his life and notes that he worked out back home this summer in Albany before reporting to AU. "In south Georgia, the air is just a little bit thicker and more humid so I get a tough workout when I go home."

In addition to wanting to be a second string player this fall, Reddick has a more ambitious goal. "I want to get a lot of playing time throughout the whole season and hopefully I can be freshman All-SEC," he says. He would like to get that playing time starting with the opener at Southern Cal in Los Angeles as the Tigers play on Monday night in a Labor Day game on ABC television. "I have been thinking about that a whole lot," Reddick says. "I have got my eyes set on playing in that game. That is what I think about every night before I go to sleep--the USC game, Monday night football, big-time."

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