AU Rookie Receiver Making Progress

A report on Auburn University football freshman Chris Slaughter is featured.

Auburn, Ala.--One of the more interesting developments of preseason practice for Coach Tommy Tuberville's Tigers has been the rapid development of late-arriving freshman Chris Slaughter.

Despite not being able to join other freshman members of his class in June to get a head start on the college experience and workouts with his new teammates, Slaughter has been impressive enough in August practices to challenge for early playing time.

Because of a delay in getting through the NCAA Clearinghouse, he missed about a week of practice time and admits he is a bit surprised at the progress he has made in recent weeks.

"I really thought he (receivers coach Greg Knox) was going to have to baby-sit me through the first game, but I think I am coming along very well now," the freshman says. "With me being here for three weeks, I feel like I am getting the hang of things now."

A player who has shown very reliable hands in practice catching the football, he comes to Auburn from Peach County High School in Georgia where he set a state record for touchdown receptions on a state championship team his senior season. He played this past fall at Hargrave Military Academy, a prep school in Virginia.

Slaughter says he has been doing everything possible to make the transition to college life both on and off the field. "I would probably say the speed of the game is the biggest thing that has surprised me," he says.

Knox says that the freshman receiver still has plenty to learn. Slaughter says he feels a lot better about knowing what to do than he did a week ago.

"I feel like I am getting better at learning my plays," he says. "Coach doesn't have to go out there on the field with me to tell me what to do now. I feel like I am really coming along."

Slaughter has spent time working with the first team, second team and third team and is also a backup punt returner behind junior Robert Dunn. The freshman notes that he is eager for a chance to show what he can do as a returner. "I returned punts in high school and ran about four back for touchdowns," he says. "Coach (Tommy) Tuberville says he wants to see me make some big plays back there and that is what I plan to do."

Slaughter says he isn't certain if he will get a chance to play on opening night vs. Kansas State, but says he has high hopes of playing this season. The Tigers open the season on Sept. 1st at home vs. the Wildcats of the Big 12 Conference.

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