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'Embrace the moment' - Jerraud Powers, honorary Auburn football captain
Honorary captain Jerraud Powers receives an ovation during Auburn's game against Mississippi State. Photo: Anthony Hall/Auburn Athletics

Oct. 4, 2017

By Jeff Shearer
AuburnTigers.com

AUBURN, Ala. - Leading Auburn's football team in the postgame singing of "War Eagle" made for the perfect ending of Jerraud Powers' return to the Plains.

"It's amazing," said Powers, an Auburn defensive back from 2006-08 who served as honorary captain during Auburn's game against Mississippi State.

"You don't understand the true family feel until you get to come back and see it from a different angle. When you're a player, you're so locked in and focused on the simple things and the tasks that you have to do. When you leave and come back and see the love that you get and the reception you get, it's a heartwarming feeling."

Recognized on the field for his eight-year NFL career, Powers reminisced about his Auburn highlights, and a lowlight.

"To be a part of beating Alabama all those times," Powers said. "Just playing in that game because you grow up hearing about Auburn-Alabama, and to have the opportunity to live it out and play through it.

"For instance, 2007 here, I matched up with D.J. Hall, who at the time had every receiving record at Alabama and I shut him down and had an interception."

Normally, Iron Bowl achievements of that magnitude would be the defining moment in one's career. For Powers, however, the 2007 rivalry game contained pleasure and pain.

"I had a great game but got bitten by a dog which everybody remembers, that's my infamous moment," said Powers, who suffered the dog bite after breaking up a pass in the end zone, where police dogs were stationed to assist with crowd control. "It's kind of a part of Auburn-Alabama history in a way.

"That's probably the one thing that stood out the most. Just being a part of so many great coaches and great teammates and being a part of that Auburn-Alabama rivalry."

<em> Jerraud Powers challenged the Tigers to embrace the moment and play the 'Auburn Way.' Photo: Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics</em>
Jerraud Powers challenged the Tigers to embrace the moment and play the 'Auburn Way.' Photo: Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics

Now that he's retired from professional football, Powers might have a career as a motivational speaker. His pep talk preceded Auburn's 49-10 win over the Bulldogs.

"My main message was there's an `Auburn Way' about doing things," Powers said. "I wanted them to embrace the moment. You don't get too many opportunities to play in this stadium.

"For the seniors, you're on a countdown watch. Your last Jordan-Hare home game is almost near. I just wanted them to know, when you're getting recruited, this is the moment, this is reason why you come to Auburn. To be on ESPN in a top SEC game that means the world to your team right now, and just to embrace the moment and trust the guy next to you."

Auburn's defense this season has allowed only 55 points, the fewest since Powers' 2008 team surrendered 53 through five games.

"Man, it's tough," Powers said. "I think Kevin Steele has done an excellent job. The defense is playing that old style of bring your lunch pail to work. We're going to come to work every day and bring your hard hat. That's their attitude out there. You can see it every snap that they get out there. They're cohesive as a unit and you can tell that each guy trusts one another. It's just amazing to watch."

<em> With his nephew, Desmond, and sons, Cam and Jagger, honorary captain Jerraud Powers sings the fight song after Auburn's 49-10 win over MSU. Photo: Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics</em>
With his nephew, Desmond, and sons, Cam and Jagger, honorary captain Jerraud Powers sings the fight song after Auburn's 49-10 win over MSU. Photo: Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics

Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter:


 

 

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