By Clara Frances McClure
AUBURN, Ala. - Defensive back Stephen Roberts grew up just down the road from Auburn University in neighboring Opelika, Ala. He was initially drawn to Auburn because of the great football team but also the welcoming fans.
A senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies, Roberts says the bond he has developed with teammates, and the support from the Auburn family, highlighted his experience.
“They mean a lot. They’ve helped me get through a lot,” Roberts said. “They help you, and they’re people who will always be there for you. The Auburn family is a great family and I love them with all my heart.”
Roberts is grateful for the impact that family has had on his life. Part of that impact has come from the bond he has made with his fellow players.
“Being here for four years, you build relationships with them that are so strong,” Roberts said. “Everybody comes together as one, as a whole, and we become brothers.”
After Auburn, Roberts knows he will certainly miss the relationships he has made, but it is also time for a new chapter in his life. The veteran who has started 12 games for the Tigers at safety, recording 86 career tackles and two interceptions, appreciates the fact that he has come this far.
“It’s a blessing,” Robert said.
Roberts says the challenge of balancing the time commitments of football and academics has prepared him for success after Auburn.
“It lets you know what the real world is about,” Roberts said. “It gives you steps to be great and find success in your life. Juggling football and school puts you on a good path to follow for the future.”
For his younger teammates, Roberts leaves some wise advice.
“Make sure you stay on top of your work, and don’t take anything for granted,” he said. “Always work hard. Don’t ever give up because it’s going to get hard; just knowing that you’re a freshman, it’s going to seem really hard, but just don’t give up and always put God first.”
Clara Frances McClure was a student assistant in Auburn Athletics Communications during the spring semester.