Stewart Anxious To Make New Memories

Carl Stewart

Auburn running back Carl Stewart talks about his injury scare and the development of the offense heading into the season opener against Georgia Tech.

Auburn, Ala.–-A visit to the doctor can sometimes be a scary thing, but for Auburn running back Carl Stewart Friday's trip turned out just fine.

After injuring his wrist during a fall in practice, there was imediate concern that the problem could be serious. However, on Saturday he was back on the practice field for business as usual.

"I'm just happy about it," Stewart says. "Initially the pain was bad, but my first concern was trying not to be out. We went and got the X-Rays and they came back negative. I'm really happy about that."

A solid performer in limited duty last season for the Tigers, Stewart rushed for 184 yards on 39 carries and scored two touchdowns. One of the running backs being counted on by offensive coordinator Al Borges to get the job done this fall, Stewart says that he is happy with the progression of the offense as a whole heading into the season opener against Georgia Tech.

"I think we're on a level now physically and emotionally where we need to be," Stewart says. "The mental clicks aren't there and we kind of fall off here or there. We have our ups and downs and mostly the sun is jumping on our backs, but I feel like the last couple of practices we've really tried to push through it and we're progressing."

Stewart is a physical runner who looks to handle the same role that Ronnie Brown played so well last season.

Stewart isn't the only player who has suffered an injury scare lately. Quarterback Brandon Cox wasn't allowed to throw at practices on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday due to a sore throwing arm and shoulder that the QB says is similar to one that sometimes happens to a baseball pitcher.

Stewart says it was very good to see him back on the practice field on Friday and Saturday and throwing the ball well.

"It was really nice," Stewart says. "We've got some solid quarterbacks behind him, but just to have Brandon back out there was an emotional step-up for everybody because our number one is out there."

The biggest of Auburn's tailbacks, Stewart is the tailback most likely to spend parts of games lined up at fullback. The former Maryville High star from Tennessee says he doesn't mind because he's known all along that was his role.

"It's really something they kind of bred me into from the beginning," Stewart says. "I don't think I was ever just a true fullback or true tailback coming in. They weren't really sure, especially with the role that Ronnie had last year. They're really trying to mold me into that same type of role."

Carl Stewart is shown in Saturday's practice.

Beginning this week in practice, Auburn will turn its attention to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The season opener for the second time in three years, Tiger veterans remember the last meeting between the two teams very vividly. While Stewart says it is something they all remember, it won't be fresh on their minds while getting ready for this year's game.

"Everybody thinks about what happened in the past, but that's really a game we wanted to put behind us," he says. "We're going to come out with a fresh slate. We're a new team and they're a new team. Those two teams from two years ago are not here anymore. We're coming to come out as the 2005 team and play our hearts out."

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