LB Hoping Early Start Will Provide an Edge

An Auburn football freshman discusses the transition to the college game.

Auburn, Ala.--Spencer Pybus, one of four Auburn signees who arrived on campus in late spring, hopes the head start will pay dividends in his quest to play football for Tommy Tuberville's Tigers.

The linebacker from Northview High in Dothan started the campus experience along with quarterback Barrett Trotter of Briarwood Christian, wide receiver Derek Winter from Plant High in Tampa and defensive back Drew Cole from Picayune Memorial High in Picayune, Miss.

"Four of us came in back in May and we were able to start working out with the team then so I think we are a little ahead," Pybus notes. "Maybe it will pay off in the long run.

"The four of us who came in early have been doing everything the varsity is doing," he adds.

Spencer Pybus is shown at a workout on the AU campus this summer.

Pybus, a 6-0, 205-pounder who ran a sub 4.5 40-yard dash as a high school standout, says learning to live away from home hasn't been easy. "I got moved into my place here in Auburn," he says. "It was tough at first being away from family and all, but I am starting to get used to it."

An honor student in high school, Pybus says his summer classes at AU have been going well and he plans to tackle a challenging major. "Right now it is undeclared," he says. "It is probably going to be building science."

By arriving early at Auburn, he was able to participate in summer voluntary workouts with his new teammates. He notes that seniors like Chris Evans and Merrill Johnson have been helping him learn AU's defensive system. Another linebacker, sophomore Craig Stevens, has also being showing the freshman what to do.

Evans notes that he likes the intensity and eagerness to learn he has seen from the freshman after three days of full squad preseason drills.

Pybus grew up an Auburn fan and is looking forward to playing for his position coach, James Willis, a former star linebacker for the Tigers who also played in the NFL. "As long as you do your job, he is easy to play for," Pybus says. "He is a good guy."

Spencer Pybus runs through a drill during his first week of practice with the Tigers.

Preseason drills and in particular two-a-days, which start on Thursday, are normally a challenge for incoming freshmen. That is something Pybus seems well aware of after spending so much time with his new teammates. "I have prepared for them to be really tough, so I am ready for them," he says.

Pybus is keeping his goals for college football simple. "I just want to do the best I can do," he says.

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