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Auburn expecting big things from lineman Mike Horton
April 6, 2016

Mike Horton looking to help Auburn in the offensive line this season
Mike Horton looking to help Auburn in the offensive line this season

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. ― Mike Horton is waiting his turn, hoping to impress, looking to contribute in Auburn's offensive line this season.

The redshirt freshman is behind big Braden Smith at right guard heading to Auburn's A-Day Game at 3 p.m. in Jordan-Hare Stadium, but his approach to Saturday and playing time in general will likely serve him well.

"I know I have to work and get better," he says. "If I'm not in that first group, I know it's a reason. I'm just going to keep working until I get there. I can't knock anybody else's hustle."

Horton has worked at guard and tackle over the last year.

"I like both of them… Any way I can get on the field to help my team," he says.

Horton impressed last preseason camp, but Auburn elected to redshirt him in a deep offensive line. The coaches who recruited him, including former offensive line coach J.B. Grimes, are gone. But Horton says he's still all Auburn.

"They were a big part of my recruitment, but I came here because I wanted to come here," Horton said. "It really wasn't because of anything extra that they said. I really love Auburn to my soul. Those leaving didn't affect me that much."

With that, Horton is still working in the offensive line, and getting a taste of SEC football in practice every day going against defensive line teammates such as Devaroe Lawrence and Montravius Adams.

"They're great competitors and they just push me to be a better athlete. They help all of us because they give us the best look possible," Horton said.

And Smith is showing Horton the way at guard.

"He's just so physical. Everything he does is physical," Horton said. "I call him Terminator. Everything he does is full power, full speed ― everything.

"I rarely see him mess up, ever. Ever. I'm learning off of him and he's teaching me some stuff, so it's good."

New offensive line coach Herb Hand says he likes Horton's play, too.

"Mike's doing a great job, he really is, for a guy who is a freshman," Hand said. "From what I understand, last year he got a lot of reps working with the two group and you can tell. Mike is a guy we're expecting really big things from as we move forward."

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTiger.scom. Follow him on Twitter:


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