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Auburn seniors get emotional win in Jordan-Hare
Nov. 23, 2014

Auburn's senior class poses, one last time, in Jordan-Hare Stadium

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. -- Coach Gus Malzahn had talked about how his team would have to stand up, play "big boy" football in the most critical situations. "You have to man up," he had said. But on Saturday, the night so many Auburn players would play their last game in Jordan-Hare Stadium, some of the big, tough football players got emotional.

Their moms were there.

Quarterback Nick Marshall said it was "kind of tears because I saw my mother crying" during the seniors' pregame ceremony.

Receiver C.J. Uzomah said he was OK, for a while.

"Tiger Walk, I saw my mom, I was tearing up. I was, 'I've got to compose myself.' It was definitely an emotional feeling."

Auburn said good-bye to 20 seniors in a 31-7 win over Samford, the last stop before closing the regular season at Alabama next Saturday. 

"This senior class is a very special group," said coach Gus Malzahn. "It is good to send them out on a high note playing their last game at home. Those guys have been phenomenal for our program, not just as players, but as individuals."

Cameron Artis-Payne is a senior who played his last game at Jordan-Hare. Like Marshall, he a junior college transfer.

He still got it.

"It was really emotional," Artis-Payne said. "I've been here two years but some of the other guys have been here four and five years so it's a big part of everybody's life. It's something that we know we are walking away from."

Artis-Payne said his senior class "meant a lot to me. I wasn't a part of their recruiting class, but when I got here they treated me like family. The Auburn Family isn't something we just say, it's real. I appreciate it. I love those boys just like they're my bothers. It's hard to see this thing come to an end."

Gabe Wright is not short-timer. He was part of the 2011 signing class. He's seen a lot, and says the seniors' legacy is "still to be written." 

"This 2014 year still isn't over, but I'm sure our legacy will live on. Through ups and downs, adversity is what makes a man. So I think the adversity our class faced will define us as an Auburn man and carry us on through life."

The Auburn seniors on scholarship --  some four-year players, some five-year players and some junior college transfers -- are Wright, Artis-Payne, Marshall, Uzomah, Angelo Blackson, Jonathon Mincy, Chad Slade, Ben Bradley, Quan Bray, Reese Dismukes, Brandon Fulse, Corey Grant, Forrest Hill, Brandon King, LaDarius Owens, Trovon Reed, Robenson Therezie, Jeff Whitaker and Jermaine Whitehead.

The others in Jordan-Hare for the last time were Niko Anthony, Wirth Campbell, Ben Durand, Alex Kviklys, Mack VanGorder, Brian Walsh, Andrew Williams and Patrick Young.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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