Auburn's JUCO Gems

By: Brad Sherwood Email
By: Brad Sherwood Email

Nobody would argue that Quarterback Cam Newton and Defensive Tackle Nick Fairley are the two most prominent players on the Auburn Tigers. How about the fact the Tigers' coaching staff plucked them both out of junior college.

Newton and Fairley aren't just good juco finds, they've turned into arguably the best players at their position in the nation.

Head Coach Gene Chizik said, “Cam and Nick are two guys that are extremely talented.”

A year after leading Blinn Junior College to the national title, Newton's first season with Auburn is already legendary. He's compiled nearly 4000 total yards and 49 touchdowns. And, he won that little thing called the Heisman Trophy.

Fairley played at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi two years ago. This season he won the Lombardi Award after tearing up opponents' quarterbacks. Fairley led the SEC with 10 and a half sacks.

Not too bad for a couple of guys snagged out of the junior college ranks.

Chizik said, “We don't recruit junior college players unless there's a dire need at the position for a junior college player. you never know what you're going to get. my staff has done a great job of evaluating the right people and bringing them in to help our football team win.”

Fairley thinks the long road to a successful season at auburn took a lot of fight. “We never quit. that's the dog in us. We don't give up.”

For Newton, he calls his whole journey a learning process. “I've embraced the whole process and learned a lot about myself, my team and Auburn. I made the right decision to come to Auburn.”

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