Dallas, Tex.-—Monday is a special day for Ben Grubbs and the Auburn senior class.
With an overall record of 40-10 in their careers with 32 victories in the last three seasons, Grubbs and company are looking to add to what is already the highest total in school history for a class. He says that already holding the record is very important to the group, but they really want one more win before they’re done.
“It means a lot,” Grubbs says of the record. “I still don’t think we’ve grasped the concept of being the winningest class because we’re still in the season. I’m sure after I get done playing and in the years to come you can always sit back and think about beating the Florida’s and the LSU’s and the Tennessee’s. We’ll be able to tell our kids about the success we had at Auburn.
“It has been a long road for us as seniors and a long road for me as an individual,” Grubbs adds. “After this game I step into the real world. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to play in the NFL. I don’t know what the future holds but it’s kind of exciting that I have that chance.”
Grubbs was a part of five victories over rival Alabama while at Auburn.
A former defensive lineman and tight end, Grubbs is a three-year starter at left guard for the Tigers and earned All-SEC and All-American honors as a senior. One of four seniors on the offensive line along with center Joe Cope, guard Tim Duckworth and tackle Jonathan Palmer, Grubbs says having the opportunity to line up with them just one more time is something he’ll cherish forever.
“It’s going to mean a lot to me to see them on my side one more time,” Grubbs says. “Having Joe and Timmy and J.P. up there it just makes me feel secure knowing they are going to give it their all. I’m going to give it my all as well. We’ve had some great memories here in practices, in games, in the classroom, on and off the field. It’s going to be tough playing this last game. Hopefully we can pull together one more time and get a win.”
A mainstay on the offensive line since moving over from defense, Grubbs has become a voice of experience for many of Auburn’s younger offensive linemen who are making the same transition. One of those players is Bart Eddins. A highly rated defensive tackle coming out of high school, Eddins moved to offense during the bowl practices and has looked good. Grubbs says that he likes what he sees out of the group and thinks they have a chance to be successful down the road.
“I was telling Bart a few days ago, he was getting frustrated because he wasn’t getting it,” Grubbs says. “I just told him that he just moved over and it’s going to take time and some practice. He’s going to be all right. I see it in Bart and Tyronne Green and Nathan Farrow and Byron Isom. They have all the tools and all the talent to be offensive players. I just try to give them motivation and words of wisdom.”
Facing Nebraska, one of the nation’s most storied programs in the Cotton Bowl, Grubbs says that the team is looking to finish the season out on a positive, something they didn’t get done last year. Remembering the looks on the faces of seniors Marcus McNeill and Troy Reddick after losing to Wisconsin Grubbs says he doesn’t want to go through that again this year.
“A victory would mean a lot to us as seniors because we would go out on top,” Grubbs says. “I remember last year it wasn’t a great feeling. I felt bad for Marcus (McNeill) and Troy (Reddick) and the other seniors because we didn’t send them out on a good note. I just don’t want to relieve the past.”
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