Freshman Gets His Chance to Play

Auburn wide receiver Derek Winter is featured in this football report.

Auburn, Ala.--Derek Winter caught his first two passes of his collegiate career vs. Arkansas and the freshman receiver from Tampa is hopeful he will soon get more opportunities to show what he can do.

Playing in the slot position where the Tigers sometimes line up tight end Tommy Trott and other receivers, Winter has played sparingly in three games. However, with the game on the line vs. the Razorbacks last week he found himself on the field and did a good job. He made his first two collegiate catches and netted 18 yards.

Asked if he is expecting to see more action as the Tigers prepare for West Virginia and the rest of the teams on the schedule, Winter said, "I hope so. You never know. I went in there and I think I did pretty good so hopefully they give me chances to go in there."

Winter certainly knows how to catch a football. At Plant High School he earned Florida All-State honors as a senior catching 75 passes for 1,668 yards with 18 touchdowns. As a junior, playing on a state championship team, he caught 90 passes for 1,280 yards and 20 touchdowns.

"Coach (Steve) Ensminger kind of has been trying to get me in whenever they can," says Winter, who has also seen some action on special teams. He notes that he has studied his assignments week after week to be ready if needed, which happened vs. the Razorbacks.

"I was a little nervous, but I had practiced the plays and I kind of knew what I was doing," he points out. "It was a little different to just be in, but I knew what I had to do."

Winter and the Tigers are off this Saturday, but return to action a week from Thursday with a road trip to West Virginia.

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