Tigers vs. Dawgs Emotional for AU Cornerback

Cornerback David Irons explains why this Saturday's contest against Georgia is one of the most important games of his career.

Auburn, Ala.--Cornerback David Irons and his younger brother, running back Kenny Irons, grew up in Dacula, Ga., just 30 minutes from the University of Georgia campus in Athens.

Both were recruited out of high school by the Georgia staff--David by former coach Jim Donnan and Kenny by Mark Richt--and gave heavy thought to signing with the Bulldogs.

However, both went separate directions out of high school with David going to Butler County Community College in Kansas and Kenny signing with the University of South Carolina. In 2004, David and Kenny joined the Auburn program, which has not lost to Georgia since 2003. On Saturday they will play their final home game in a Tiger uniform against the Bulldogs.

"It's really emotional," David says. "I'm not going to cry, but Kenny might. I'm not an emotional-type guy, but I might get sad. Kenny is going to cry and bawl and I'm going to have to bring him some tissues during halftime. Kenny is going to cry during Tiger Walk because he's an emotional-type guy.

"It's going to be tough to stay calm and I'll want to go through the Tiger Walk twice," he adds. "I might go walk back around and go twice since it's my last draw. This is going to be awesome. I hope it's going to be the biggest Tiger Walk I've seen in years."

The brothers sat out the 2004 season at Auburn when the Tigers beat Georgia 24-6, but they were victorious in Athens last season as Auburn pulled out 31-30 breath-taking win. David says that finishing his career without a loss to Georgia would give him bragging rights for a lifetime over the home-state folks.

"When I go home nobody could talk bad about me," David says. "They can't say, ‘Oh you did this and that, but you lost to Georgia.' It will be a big accomplishment for us, for me and for Kenny. It's like when we play schools like Alabama and the home-state guys can have the bragging rights over Alabama. That's how I look at it.

"You might see those guys in the stands in red on Saturday," he continues. "Most of those guys are from my high school. At my high school when me and Kenny were playing it was packed every Friday night. Most of them got the Hope Scholarship. You had no choice but to go to Georgia. Everybody went to Georgia and walked around with Georgia t-shirts on. Our teachers even tried to encourage us to go to Georgia."


Irons hopes to have a big victory to celebrate on Saturday.

David didn't have the grades out of high school to play in the SEC, but Donnan's staff really wanted him to wear a Georgia uniform. Because of the efforts by Donnan's staff, David says he came close to becoming a Bulldog. However, that was before Donnan was fired following the 2000 season.

"I wasn't a big fan of Georgia, but I loved coach Jim Donnan and his son (Todd Donnan)," David notes. "They were awesome to me, my brother and my dad. That's the only reason I was going to commit there and go there. I was going to go there, but then I found out they got fired. Once I knew he wasn't going to be the coach I decided I'm not going to Georgia. It was too close to home and I didn't want my dad checking up on me.

"He was recruiting me and Kenny hard," David adds. "He'd come to my high school and we'd talk and they showed me lots of love. In high school I was just playing ball. I didn't really know about recruiting and stuff like that. (Todd) was writing me every day. I was getting hand-written letters from the son every day. I would have been at Georgia if he had still been the coach."

David, who is known for his jawing almost as much as his coverage ability, says he has been going back and forth with injured Georgia fullback Des Williams, another Dacula product, all week. However, he admits that he will have a difficult job this week and is taking the game as serious as ever to end his Jordan-Hare career on a high note.

"They've got some receivers," he says. "I remember when (Mohamed) Massaquoi scored on me last year so I'm taking that to my head."

The Tigers and Bulldogs will kick off at 11:30 a.m. cST and the game will be regionally televised by LFS>


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