Bigger, stronger and faster than when he originally signed with the Tigers two years ago out of Dacula High School, the 6-1, 187-pounder is also playing a different position. He earned second team All-Jayhawk Conference honors last season as a redshirt freshman cornerback at Butler County Community College in Kansas.
Irons, who picked Auburn over Florida State and others, was credited with 45 tackles last season and led the Grizzlies in pass deflections with 11. He also forced two fumbles for a team that won its conference championship. Once he joins the team at Auburn, he will have three years to play three seasons of Division I football.
"I plan to begin working out out with the Auburn team this summer," says Irons, who picked the Tigers over Florida State and others. As a high school senior, he narrowed his choices to Auburn and Ole Miss before selecting the Tigers.
Irons originally signed with the Tigers in February 2001 after what was a senior high school season that was marred by an MCL sprain plus an ankle sprain. He missed three games completely that season and finished the year with 710 yards on 83 carries with 10 touchdowns. He also caught 19 passes for 277 yards and five TDs. His coach, Kevin Maloof, said, "He is as good a player as I have been around. He played with injuries his senior year and did a great job for us even though that turned a guy who runs a 4.4 40 into a player who ran a 4.7 or 4.8."
As a junior, Irons rushed for 1,349 yards and 18 touchdowns. For his high school career, he averaged 9.1 yards per carry and scored 43 touchdowns. He was also region champion in the 200 and 400 meters as a junior.
Since graduating from high school, he has added seven pounds, improved his quickness and has grown more than an inch taller.
Tiger Ticket Extra: His younger brother Kenny is a running back for the South Carolina Gamecocks. His father, David, is a former running back for the NFL's Detroit Lions. His grandfather is former Oakland Raiders linebacker Gerald Irons. When Irons was originally signed, John Lovett was the defensive coordinator and secondary coach. New defensive coordinator and secondary coach Gene Chizik traveled to Kansas to scout and recruit Irons, who will be playing a position at Auburn that needs immediate help with three graduating seniors to replace.