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By Jack Smith
AUBURN -- He's up early to get ready for 7:30 a.m. workouts with Strength & Conditioning Coach Kevin Yoxall.
After a workout of 45 minutes or so, it's off to the training room for treatments. Bumps and bruises are part of the life of an SEC quarterback, and for Auburn starter Barrett Trotter.
So are weekly visits with the media. While most students his age at Auburn are milling around the Student Center at noon on Tuesdays debating where to eat, Trotter sits down for 20 or 30 minutes of media interviews.
Then he's off to class at 12:30 before heading back to the Auburn Athletics Complex for position meetings that usually start around 3 p.m. He then heads to the practice field where he and the offense practice under the watchful eye of Offensive Coordinator Gus Malzahn.
By the time practice is over, Trotter's next class is already getting under way. He hustles across campus to his "Public Budgeting" class, which doesn't wrap up until 9 p.m.
That can make for a long day for Trotter, Auburn's starting quarterback who is only a junior in eligibility. He already has a communications degree in hand and is now working on a master's degree in Public Administration.
Trotter, who finished his undergraduate degree with a 3.3 overall GPA, says he has known little more than school and football for as long as he can remember.
"You definitely have to know how to manage your time," Trotter said. "That's something that you learn pretty quickly."
While Auburn has few seniors on the current football team, graduating early is nothing new for Auburn football players. Only one other school, Boston College, had more graduates competing in a bowl game last year than Auburn's large class of seniors.
Trotter takes pride in the fact that he already has his diploma in hand.
"When I wasn't getting to play earlier in my career, I just decided to make graduating early a goal," he said.
Trotter admits he does not know what exactly he wants to do when his playing days are over. He just knows he will be better prepared for the workforce than most after juggling football and school. That's something he has done since he arrived at Auburn, which was the day after he graduated from Briarwood Christian School in Birmingham.
While he will weigh his options when his eligibility runs out in 2012, Trotter might consider a career in coaching after football.
"I've always been around football, so I've thought about coaching," Trotter said. "Sometimes I think that's what I'll end up doing."
Regardless of what career path he chooses, Trotter is confident that he will be successful after leaving Auburn with two degrees in hand.
"Obviously, it feels good to have that degree in hand," says Trotter, who is taking three classes this semester as a graduate student. "And having a graduate degree will also be good for me as well. I think it will really make a difference."