April 18, 2014
AUBURN, Ala. - I remember Tucker Tuberville as the ever-present oldest son of former Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville. I remember the little boy that would come with his mother near the end of practice. As he grew older, he would throw passes on the field and finally would drive around in his father's golf cart with Troy, his younger brother.
Then it happened as it always happens. Tucker Tuberville grew up.
Tommy Tuberville has been gone from Auburn's head coaching position since December 2008 and is the head coach at Cincinnati. But Tucker Tuberville is back at Auburn as a walk-on quarterback. He's likely to get some snaps in Saturday's A-Day game on the field where he watched his father's teams compete and win for 10 seasons.
"I think I'll get some cleanup time at the very end," Tucker Tuberville said. "It will be a good end to a good spring. It's good to close it in front of the fans."
Tuberville walked on last summer after spending his freshman season as a walk-on on with his father's Texas Tech team. He was ineligible under NCAA transfer rules. He's eligible now, but he's a realist, too. He knows he's not going to be Auburn's starting quarterback.
"I love football," Tuberville said. "I love being around the system. Especially in the spring, they give us a chance. It's fun to compete. Even if you're not competing and you're on the scout team in the fall, it's fun. It's fun to me to know why we are doing certain things."
Tommy Tuberville will be in town Saturday to take in the A-Day game. He returned to Jordan-Hare Stadium last season for the Iron Bowl. He said then his son was happy, and his son agrees.
"I just wanted to come somewhere in the Southeast," Tuberville said. "I loved playing for my dad, but I wanted to play for a southern school. Coach Malzahn happened to let me come here. It was great knowing the atmosphere, knowing the place and having some friends I can hang out with."
There's something good and right about Tucker Tuberville wearing an Auburn jersey. His father didn't leave under the happiest of circumstances, but 10 good years trumped one bad one in the end.
"I've loved it," Tuberville said. "Great coaching staff. Great atmosphere. It's Auburn like it used to be, so it's great."
Tuberville has very clear goals set for himself. He wants to follow his father into the coaching business. And along the way, he want to see if he can help Auburn add to last season's Southeastern Conference championship.
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: