Aug. 28, 2011
AUBURN -- Tradition never graduates. Though the 2011 BCS National Championship is in the rearview mirror, the Auburn Tigers continue to press on toward success on the field and off it. As Saturday, September 3, grows closer, we introduce you to some of the men who will take the field at Jordan-Hare this year.
Emory Blake | Wide Receiver | Junior | Austin, Texas
When I look in the mirror I see a hard worker and someone who is dedicated to something he loves and tries to get better at it everyday.
I realized I could play football at this level when I was a sophomore in high school. I started making some big plays in tight, game-winning situations, and I realized I could go a lot further than just high school football.
My teammates would describe me as fun to be around, hopefully a leader on the field, someone they can relate to and someone they can come to in the time of need.
I never knew I was going to come to Auburn. Coach Malzahn called me two weeks before signing day when he first got here. He wanted me to come visit, and I told him no about three times. I finally agreed and came up for a visit and loved it.
As a child, I always wanted to play running back so I would emulate players like Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders and Ricky Watters. Not until later in my football career did I want to be a wide receiver.
Playing for Coach Troop is great. You know what to expect, and you know what he expects out of you. Once you realize what he's about and what he's trying to get out of you as a player, it's really a blessing to have a coach like him.
The most important thing to remember when playing my position is to always catch the ball. Never drop it. If you run a crappy route, but you still catch the ball 20 yards down field, then it's everything is ok.
I first played wide receiver my sophomore year in high school. We were short a wide receiver and they didn't want me to not play, so they put me in and I ended up scoring the game-winning touchdown. I've been playing wide receiver ever since.
When it comes to food, I would never eat a reptile. I don't understand how people eat lizards and snake.
If I could visit any place in the world, it would have to be somewhere in Europe. Italy or Spain.
I have a couple of superstitions. I stick to the same pregame rituals throughout the season. I eat a certain amount before every game, I get taped by a certain person, and I always have one skinny band on my left arm and two on my right.
The most important part of having a winning team is to have confidence in each other. Not having a fear of losing and having faith in the coaches. All those things make up a championship team.
Growing up with a dad in the NFL was normal. He got in the league when I was a year old and retired when I was 14 so it was more of a transition when he stopped playing. Looking back it was truly a blessing to get a chance to be in that environment, see how things work and the business side of football. The NFL is completely different from college.
When I scored my first touchdown against Mississippi State, I was relieved to have gotten it over with and got it out the way. My whole freshman year I wanted to score but didn't really get the chance to and I felt very relieved.
It feels good to see that Cam's 94 yard pass to me is the longest pass play in the SEC, but I still want to break that record. I always want to get better and do better things than the season before. I want to try to break more records at Auburn and in the SEC.
A piece of advice my dad gave me before coming to Auburn was to enjoy it and give in to every opportunity. Don't be a person that's too into yourself. Network and meet a lot of people, because in the end that will really help you.
My dad played for the Eagles in 2004 and that was my favorite team that he played for so I've always been a pretty big Eagles fan.