For whatever reasons, there have been numerous cases of star players following up such seasons with a disappointing senior year. Sometimes it's a matter of the athlete becoming complacent.
Rest assured that Aubrey does not
fall into the category of resting on his laurels. Through Bastrop High's first
five games, Aubrey has gone beast mode, recording a team-high 30 tackles. Last
Aubrey, a 6-4, 290-pound defensive lineman, says committing early has enabled him to relax this season.
"I am really glad I committed early," Aubrey said. "It makes the season more enjoyable. I don't have to worry about recruiting. I can just focus on playing the game and helping us win another state championship."
Another factor in Aubrey's favor is that he has already met the NCAA's academic qualifications. A 3.3 student, he plans to major in anesthesiology.
Aubrey and Williams, who also cracked the starting lineup as a sophomore, are the nucleus of one of the best defensive lines in the state. Naturally, the duo jokes about their future rivalry.
"When we're lifting weights we try
to encourage each other," Aubrey said. "He'll say, 'If you don't hit this lift,
LSU isn't going to want you. I'll say, 'If you don't hit this lift,
From an opponent's perspective, the
Rams' front four - and the entire defense for that matter - has been no laughing
matter. Through the first four games, the starting defense allowed just nine
points. Both scores - a
"Everybody gets scored on," Aubrey said. "You have to bounce back from your mistakes and that's what we tried to do."
"We switched defenses at halftime," Aubrey said. "We had a rotation with Michael Harris and Kelvin Binns at right defensive end and Deddrick Jones at left defensive end. I moved to tackle and LaMarcus was at the nose.
The Rams responded by shutting out
Aubrey began his career as a defensive tackle, before moving outside last season. This year, he has flip-flopped between tackle and end. Although he is projected as a tackle at the next level, Aubrey has no preferences regarding positions.
"I like them both," said Aubrey of his two positions. "It's great getting the experience at either spot. I just like playing the game."
With the departure of defensive end
Jody Ancar and tackle/nose guard Troy Brown, the Rams had some holes to fill in
the defensive line.
"Last year, we had some special things we could do. This year, we have some special things we can do," Aubrey said. "This year, we have a lot more experience. We're learning the plays better and we have a great rotation. We have more defensive linemen now."
Despite sporting a 5-0 record and the No. 1 ranking in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 4A poll, the Rams have faced a series of well-documented distractions for the last seven weeks, including being stripped of the 2005 Class 4A state title. Aubrey says the adversity has actually worked to the team's advantage.
"We've been taught to play ball and not worry about other people," Aubrey said. "It's just the challenge we get. I like the controversy the people have put on us because it makes me a better man to face the world."
One of the highlights of Aubrey's
career has been getting to play with his brother, sophomore linebacker Tai
(Speedy) Alford. Coming off of a fractured fibula, Alford made his first
appearance of the regular season against
Making an immediate impact, Alford scooped up a fumble after Jones jarred the ball loose on a quarterback sack and scampered 69 yards for a touchdown which all but sealed the Rams' victory.
It should come as no surprise that the brothers frequently talk football off the field.
"Playing with my brother is great," Aubrey said. "We talk about what we are supposed to do. Sometimes we laugh about some of the stuff we do on the field."
At 5-9, 185 pounds, Alford did not inherit his brother's size. But don't be misled, 'Li'l Aubrey' can play.
"I feel like he has a bright future as long as he sticks it out," Aubrey said. "He has to grow some, but he has a big heart and works hard, and you can't beat that. He's my brother and he's a great person."
Aubrey says the Rams' fan support
has made the team feel at home away from home this season. Even though the game
was televised live by Cox Sports, an estimated 2,500
"We have great fans," Aubrey said. "The support they have given us has been great. We really appreciate them being there and sticking beside us through everything we have been through. It also makes it even better with the game being on TV. We still had a lot of people make the trip when they could have stayed home and watched it."
Aubrey and the Rams would like
nothing more than to reward their fans with an early Christmas present - a trip