Starting the 2006 season 1-2, including a loss at Daphne (Ala.) High School, Lincoln turned things around with wins in its next six games, but things turned sour in the season's final game for Slade and company. Playing rival Godby, Lincoln was crushed 31-8 to close out the regular season. Slade says looking back on that game now it was the turning point for the team because they vowed following that night to never feel that way again.
"What really made us turn it on was the Godby game," Slade tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "We had a tough loss to them and we all decided we didn't want to lose any more. We came together as a team. Going into the playoffs is the start of a new season. We forgot about the things that happened during the regular season and picked it up."
Slade will help to lead the Trojan defense against what is always a potent Nease offense this Friday night at home while Lamb will watch from the sidelines. Out much of the season with a broken bone in his leg, Slade says Lamb could be back if they make it to the state title game next week.
Ranked number one in the state this season and undefeated, Nease has overcome the loss of Tim Tebow quite well in 2006. Slade says they are a good football team and it will be a very tough game for Lincoln.
"They are pretty good," Slade says. "They are the defending state champs from last year. That says a lot right there."
A 6-2, 185 defensive back who can play corner or safety, Slade has had a very solid senior year for the talented Trojans. With over 30 tackles, one interception and seven pass break-ups Slade has done well while teams have stayed from his side more often than not.
"Things are actually going pretty good for me this year," Slade says. "I'm having a good year. Teams are still somewhat throwing the other way, but we've got good players everywhere."
One of those players is talented athlete Brandon Paul. A player who stars on both sides of the ball for Lincoln, Paul is most known for his offensive prowess at running back, but could play corner, wide receiver and even kick returner in college. Slade says that both he and Lamb are working on Paul to try to convince him to choose Auburn, but in the end it will be his decision.
"He has been doing really good," Slade says. "He didn't play in the last game (31-30 victory) because he pulled his quad. He had two touchdowns the week before on a punt return and kickoff return. We've talked to him a little bit about Auburn, but he just has to go wherever he decides."
No matter if Paul decides on Auburn or not, Slade and Lamb already have one teammate at Auburn in redshirt freshman linebacker Craig Stevens. Expected to be the man to beat at middle linebacker next season for the Tigers, Stevens was back home last week for Thanksgiving and Slade says talking to him has him excited about coming to Auburn next year.
"I was hanging with him the other night," Slade says. "We talked some about Auburn. He told me all about classes and the system and stuff like that. He told me it was fun and that you just have to get used to it. It makes me feel a whole lot better about my decision."
Despite offers from other colleges Slade says that he won't take any other visits this fall other than his trip to Auburn. Both Slade and Lamb are expected to visit together in January.