Interesting Season For AU's Powers

Jerraud Powers talks about his busy season for the Tigers, including the much discussed dog bite he suffered in Auburn's victory over Alabama.

Auburn, Ala.--It's been an eventful year for Auburn sophomore defensive back Jerraud Powers.

He had his first career interception to seal the deal against Arkansas, and was on the bad end of a last second game-winning touchdown despite almost perfect coverage the following week against LSU.

Powers had interceptions in consecutive weeks against Tennessee Tech and Georgia, and had another pick before halftime against Alabama, a play that potentially could have changed the outcome of the Iron Bowl.

Powers has had a highlight filled second year in an Auburn uniform, most of which is good, but the moment he is most notarized for is after the whistle.

He was bitten by a security dog, named "Whistle," on the sidelines after a play in the fourth quarter of the Iron Bowl.

"It grew pretty big," Powers explains. "I knew I was going to be a laughingstock, but I didn't know it was going to go across the nation.

"I was watching ESPN and ‘Around the Horn' was on and I was one of the topics," he continues. "I was just like ‘Oh my gosh.' It came on CNN a few times. CNN had the sports highlights and I was one of only three highlights they showed. I became a laughingstock. A lot of people have been asking me about it, but I sort of just shake my head and laugh it off."

Powers was covering Alabama receiver D.J. Hall when John Parker Wilson threw in his direction deep over the middle. The play ended with the ball falling innocently to the Jordan-Hare Stadium turf in the back of the end zone, but the drama wasn't over at that point.

Powers nonchalantly gave the signal for an incompletion, and a security dog latched on to Powers' left hand. There were two canines on leashes in the back of the end zone standing so close to the playing field that they were actually in front of the goal post of in the South end zone.

"I think it's embarrassing," he notes. "It takes away the interception I got. That was a big interception. Nobody has asked me about that. They're just asking me about the dog. It was fun at first, but when I realized that when you go on the Internet, like, I was the picture on the homepage about me getting bit.

"It was just everywhere," he continues. "Then at, I was the second most played video in America at one point. I was just like ‘Goodness gracious.' I was getting texts and e-mails about it constantly.

"(Safety) Zac Etheridge said one night he went out," Powers adds, "and everybody was asking, ‘Where's the guy that got bit by the dog?'"

Powers and Eric Brock bring down Nick Walker in the Tigers' 17-10 victory on Nov. 24.

Powers did everything right on the play. Wilson was in the shotgun and Powers was matched up on Hall in the slot. Powers and Brock doubled Hall and the ball sailed over everyone's head.

While he probably got a production point or two from defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, he was also left with some reminders of the extracurricular activities following the incompletion.

"I've got some scars--some pretty good looking scars," he notes. Nearly a month later, Powers has several teeth marks on the outside of his hand going all the way up to his pinky finger under the nail.

"It didn't hurt when he first grabbed it," Powers explains. "When I first realized it was a dog is when it started hurting. When he grabbed me I still had my head turned. I turned around and realized and jerked away. Then my hand was bleeding all through the glove and the next day it was hurting pretty good because it was all swollen and bruised up. It was pretty tender for a few days."

He has the scars to show for it, but so far no apology.

"I haven't gotten an apology or anything," he says. "It's sort of died down a little bit. You never know. Maybe they'll send me a letter or something for Christmas.

"The policeman who had the dog, I haven't heard from him," Powers adds. "I read his statement. He had to write a statement. There was another officer that came when I had to do a report. They were basically telling me about the dog. I haven't heard from him.

"He was just talking about what happened," Powers says of the officer's statement. "He said the dog nipped me a little bit. He just basically talked about what happened.

"It was a little more than a nip," he continues. "He got me pretty good. I was just happy I didn't trip and fall by it. It would have been worse."

With Powers doing nothing wrong during or after the play, the obvious question remains, ‘What was the dog doing that close to the playing field?'

"The dog's name is Whistle," Powers explains. "They said it was an explosive dog, like the bomb dog.

"I guess they've got a short fuse when it comes to making a reaction," he jokes.

If the dogs were there to sniff for explosives, then why were they, along with the security officers, facing the field? Why were they so close to the field, and why didn't the officers try to pull the dogs away from the players?

ESPN cameras showed Whistle and its officer moving away from the field to the rubber area close to the stands, but only after the incident happened.

It's been an "embarrassing" ordeal for Powers, and it has also cast a negative image upon Auburn as the Alabama coaches are using it as a negative recruiting tool.

"One of my friends who goes to Alabama said that on an official visit (for a recruiting prospect) they played the clip of me being bit," Powers explains. "They thought it was funny also."

Powers and the Tigers will resume bowl practice on Wednesday for their New Year's Eve game vs. Clemson.

Powers adds that he is still not certain if legal action will be taken. "I talked to a few people," he says. "We might do something, but then again we might not. It's not going to be anything huge or anything like that. We might do nothing out of it after a while, just talking to a few lawyers and whatnot. It might just roll over."

The officers in charge of the dogs are employed by the Opelika Police Department.

"I'm going to continue to do my little incomplete celebration," Powers says. "I'm just going to make sure the dog is not around when I do it."

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