McFadden Hopes to Dance His Way to Success

Cornerback Walt McFadden is preparing for what he hopes is a memorable final season of college football.

Auburn, Ala.--Walt McFadden, who has a chance to be one of the better cornerbacks in the Southeastern Conference this fall for Coach Gene Chizik's Tigers, is thinking outside of the box as he prepares for his senior season of football at Auburn.

McFadden, who picked up his degree in public administration at the spring commencement over the weekend, is looking forward to taking more classes this summer and fall.

"The main class I am excited about is ballet," says McFadden, who broke into the starting lineup last season as a redshirt junior after being a key reserve the previous two seasons.

"I am ready for that ballet class," the defensive back adds. "I want to get as flexible as I can."

McFadden points out that the class should also help him with his footwork, something that was the case with another Auburn cornerback, David King, a standout performer for the Tigers in the 1980s.

King says he believes taking ballet not only made him better in pass coverage, it also made him less susceptible to injury.

"Coach (Gene) Chizik says I have fast feet," McFadden notes. "I still think they can be faster and the ballet should be able to help me a lot."

McFadden also has plans to take more academically oriented classes while he is still on scholarship. "I have five classes left to get a degree in business in administration so I am planning to start on that this summer," he notes.

Taking care of the academic part of the equation is a high priority for Chizik's staff just as it was when Tommy Tuberville was the head coach. McFadden notes that when he first arrived on campus earning a degree was not his primary goal after signing out of Ely High in Pompano Beach, Fla.

"Like a lot of freshman that come in as college football players I wasn't thinking about graduating," he says. "Like a lot of freshman I was thinking I would come in and play three years and then go to the NFL. As I got older I realized I need something to fall back on like my degree."

He had plenty of people on campus with him over the weekend to share his graduation ceremony. "I am really proud and I am happy about earning my degree," McFadden says. "My family came and it was great to see them smiling and happy. My mom, dad, my sisters and brothers, grandmother, a teacher and a couple of friends. They all came up from home. It is a long trip."

Walt McFadden

McFadden says that his favorite classes in college have been the ones he has done well in grade-wise. "The ones I got the A's in are the ones I liked best," he points out. "I am normally a B and C guy. Those ones in which I got A's were the ones I really put the work into because the teacher made the class interesting and made me want to work harder to learn more about the material."

Learning his assignments on the football field for a new defensive staff was a priority in spring training and the cornerback won praise from the secondary coaches, Phillip Lolley and Tommy Thigpen. "Coach Thig and Coach Lolley are trying hard to make me a great player," McFadden says.

"I am going to be working hard this summer," he adds. "We worked real hard in the spring with the new coaching staff. Coach Gene Chizik is behind me. With him having coached two Thorpe Award winners, I am really looking forward to the upcoming season. The thing I am looking forward to the most though is helping Auburn win."

McFadden says he is excited about the upcoming season and the group of coaches that Chizik has assembled.

"I love the staff," he says. "I wish I had an extra two or three years to play for them. Who wouldn't want to stay all four years to play for those coaches. They show you love and family and they also work hard with us."

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