In May, just four days after graduating from high school, most seniors were celebrating at the beach until dawn. Tommy Trott however, was just getting up out of bed.
There wasn't much time for Trott to enjoy his accomplishment. No vacation. No going away parties. He had bigger and better things to attend to. The state of Alabama's top prospect in 2005 was already preparing for his college career at Auburn.
Instead of late nights with old friends, Trott had early mornings with a new one in Auburn strength and conditioning coach Kevin Yoxall.
"I came to Auburn four days after my graduation," said Trott. "I've been working out with Yox. He's been working us pretty hard.
"We have to be up (at workouts) every morning at 6:00. I'm still getting used to it, but it's rough getting up at 5:30 every morning."
Trott, who graduated from Montgomery (Ala.) Trinity School, was one of four new signees to report to the Plains in May. Other new Tigers arriving early were JUCO transfer Jonathan Wilhite, cornerback Aairon Savage and tight end Andrew McCain.
The decision to pass up the celebrations for preparations wasn't a difficult one for Trott.
"It was easy for me," he said. "(Auburn) is only 45 minutes from Montgomery and I'm not missing that much. It wasn't that tough of a decision. Hopefully I can get ahead of the game a little bit and learn the offense."
Getting a head start is important for any freshman. And with someone who is expected to contribute his first year, it's a necessity.
"There's a lot of stuff to take in. The playbook is a lot thicker than in high school," said Trott. "I wanted to get up here and learn the offense, put on some good weight and get stronger."
Putting on weight and getting stronger isn't too hard to do in Auburn. Under Yox, there isn't much choice. Trott has seen the results of two months of working out and training under the Auburn assistant.
"I played all of last season at 235," he said. "I got here at 225, but now I'm all the way back up to 240. I've been eating good since I've been up here."
The idea of getting early playing time is incentive enough for Trott. A star tight end in high school, he could see action there or even at the slot position. He has been learning the tight end position, but may spend time at the inside receiver position. Whatever it takes to play.
"They said I was going to work July at slot," he said. "I don't know the tight end position that well so I'm staying there right now until I get it down. I hope I can help out somewhere. If I can help out I would like to."
Playing as a true freshman is uncommon at Auburn. Only three players from the 2004 class didn't redshirt. With the talent and depth on the Plains now, that number isn't expected to change much. In order for Trott to play in 2005, he knows there are a lot of things he must do. Learn the offense is number one.
His mentor this summer has been senior tight end Cooper Wallace.
"The biggest thing for me is to learn the offense," he said. "Cooper will go out with us before the pass skele drills and go over blocking assignments and routes with us. He's been real good and a great guy to learn under."
Although Trott has spent his summer working and preparing. He's not complaining, especially if it pays off in the end.
"I'm having a good time. I'm meeting a lot of new people," he said. "I like all the freshmen. We have a good class and we get along real well.
"If the coaches feel it's right, hopefully I will get to play this year. I would like to."
It would sure make up for all of those missed parties.
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