Markell Boston says he's ready to team up with his buddy, Tray Matthews, at Auburn
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Markell Boston and Tray Matthews know each well from their high school days in Georgia.
"We pretty much grew up together," Boston said.
The two Auburn defensive backs, who grew up around Newnan, now may find themselves on the field together this season, roaming in the Tigers' secondary, looking to help the back end of the defense.
Boston likes the idea of playing with his friend.
"You have some players you look up to," he said. "You see them do things and you ask yourself, 'Why can't I do that?' 'Why can't I be like that?' 'Why can't we do it together.'"
Maybe they can. Matthews is entering his second season of playing at Auburn after transferring from Georgia. Boston is ready to hit the field for the first time in his third year with the Tigers after making the transition from a high school receiver to defensive back.
Boston played high school ball at East Coweta in Sharpsburg. Matthews was at Newnan High. Matthews originally signed with Georgia. Went there. Boston signed with Auburn. When Matthews wanted to transfer, Boston heard this:
"'You think I should come to Auburn?' I was like, 'Darn right. Yes, you should.' He made it happen. Now, we're just living the dream. I want to be on the field at the same time with him. Live the dream."
Matthews was a top prospect back in the day. Boston was making the transition to defensive back.
"That's part of recruiting," Boston said. "You're going to get what you want sometimes, and sometimes you’re going to feel like you're overlooked. At the same time, I don't feel overlooked. I feel like God put me right here in this place and it's not too far from home. Everything pretty much worked out in my favor."
Boston has impressed in two scrimmages in Jordan-Hare Stadium this preseason. He returned an interception for a touchdown in the first one, won the coaches' approval to be one of the players to be interviewed by the media after the second one.
"I've had to step up," Boston said. "The older guys, they told me to just be yourself and don’t go out there thinking too much, just be yourself and make plays. That’s what I try to do.”
Boston is in a healthy competition for playing time.
"Everybody knows there is competition, and when it’s competition, you’ve got that mode in your head that ‘hey, I’ve got to get my stuff together today and be on my P's and Q’s'."
He's done that so far this August. He hopes to continue it when Clemson comes to Jordan-Hare Stadium for the season opener on Sept. 3.
"I've never been this excited. I feel like when Clemson comes to town, I feel like I'll be very well prepared."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine