During his days at Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Ga., Grady Jarrett came oh so close to playing in the Georgia Dome.
"I'm really excited to play in the Georgia Dome," Jarrett said. "I was a game away from it my junior year."
Rockdale County fell in the semifinals of the 2009 Georgia Class AAAA state playoffs.
For the first-time in his playing career, he'll finally have a chance to step on the turf. The opportunity will present itself on Saturday night when Clemson squares off with Auburn.
"It's going to be a great time. I'm really looking forward to it," Jarrett said.
The sophomore nose guard attended high school outside the eastern portion of the Atlanta perimeter. So he's watched a few games at the Georgia Dome, including some on Sundays when the Falcons were playing.
Jarrett's like most folks from the Atlanta-area. The 20-year-old building is near and dear to him.
"I love the Georgia Dome," Jarrett said.
Several friends and family will migrate to the stadium to watch him play. But mom's handling all that stuff. He has business to tend to.
Jarrett, who logged 61 snaps during his freshman season in 2011, is listed as the co-starter at nose guard with Josh Watson.
The group of Auburn running backs they'll face is a talented bunch.
"Onterio McCalebb, he's a speed-type of guy," Jarrett said. Guys like Tre Mason, [has] more power, but still has speed, can return a couple of kicks.
"They're all good backs, but it's nothing we've never seen, because we have Andre Ellington, which is a really good back. Andre Ellington, D.J. Howard, good speed and power right there. Roderick McDowell, so we have really good running backs to work with here, so we'll be well prepared."
When studying the Auburn offense, Jarrett and his teammates have paid close attention to the stuff Auburn offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler ran while on staff at Temple last season.
"Since we haven't seen much from Auburn's offensive coordinator, that's all we really can go off now," Jarrett said. "We watched some schemes and then try to correlate with Auburn's personnel, to get a better feel of what we'll get from Auburn."
He detailed the Owls' style of play in 2011.
"It seems like the scheme from Temple would be more of a power-style, instead of the spread that they ran previously [at Auburn]," Jarrett said. "You've just got to work with what you have."
For Jarrett, he'll be working in an environment that he knows well. And there will be plenty of locals there to cheer him on.
"I have no idea how many [friends and family], but I know the house is going to be full," he said.
Homecoming for Jarrett
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