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
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
week against Ruston, he logged four tackles, one in the
backfield and two quarterback hurries.
Aubrey, a 6-4, 290-pound defensive
lineman, says committing early has enabled him to relax this
"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 has plenty of company en
route to the Southeastern Conference as wide receiver DeAngelo Benton and
defensive tackle LaMarcus Williams have committed to LSU and Alabama,
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
"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, Alabama isn't going to
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 Huntington field goal and
a Richwood touchdown - were set up by turnovers deep in Bastrop
Ruston solved the Rams' defense by scoring on
two of its first three possessions, including a two-play, 80-yard drive and a
13-play, 70-yard march.
"Everybody gets scored on," Aubrey
said. "You have to bounce back from your mistakes and that's what we tried to
Mission accomplished. Coming out in a three-man
front, the Rams held the Bearcats to 14 total yards in the second half en route
to a convincing 46-14 victory.
"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.
"Ruston's a spread team, so we put more people
The Rams responded by shutting out
West Ouachita 49-0 last Friday night. The
Chiefs had all of 74 yards of total offense in the game.
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. Bastrop's D-line may be even better this season
because of its depth. Counting Aubrey, the Rams have four quality ends. In
addition, Rocky Seay and Geanie Lyons provide solid options
"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
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 Ruston.
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'
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
"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
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 Bastrop fans made the trip to Ruston.
"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
Aubrey and the Rams would like
nothing more than to reward their fans with an early Christmas present - a trip
to New Orleans
10 weeks from now.