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David Irons ponders another year at Auburn

By Bradley Handwerger
DAILY Sports Writer

bhandwerger@decaturdaily.com 340-2462

AUBURN — As soon as Auburn's Capital One Bowl game against Wisconsin finishes, senior cornerback David Irons has some paper work to fill out.

Irons will send in a request to the NCAA for an extra year because of an injury-riddled career that has kept him out of two seasons.

But the Dacula, Ga., native isn't so sure he'd jump at another season.

"I don't know if I'll be back next year," said Irons, who finished the regular season with 37 tackles and 10 pass deflections.

"If I get it, I get it, but I still don't know if I want to be back. It's my decision. If I get it, it would be cool, I'd think about it. I've been in school a long time. It's tiring. It's been a long journey for me, a struggle in school."

However, Irons still would like a crack at professional football and understands another season would go a long way in helping that dream come true.

"That's a good possibility, to come back, get all the rust I had this year out," Irons said.

  • Smith done with punts: It's official. Tre Smith will no longer be the punt returner for Auburn.

    After two fumbles against Ole Miss, one against Kentucky and at least one against Alabama, Smith sealed his fate late in the season.

    Now special teams coach Eddie Gran has moved Robert Dunn into the position.

    "He's been catching the ball pretty decent all year long," Gran said. "This is a great opportunity to start fresh now with a new year and see if he can get it done. We're going to need one next year."

    Still, it would have been nice for Smith to find out from his coach.

    "They didn't tell me anything," Smith said. "I know over the break, he was calling Lee (Guess) and Robert and Brad (Lester) to get them out there practicing. He didn't call me so I said I guess I'm not practicing anymore. We never talked about it."

  • McClover to stay?: Junior defensive end Stanley McClover has a big decision to make. In his final three games, he accumulated 6 sacks, catapulting his name to the front of pro scout's minds.

    With his name in the NFL underclassman evaluation, McClover is one step closer to going.

    "There's a big possibility I could leave, a big possibility I could come back," McClover said. "Nothing is set in stone. I still have another game to prove myself."

    However, the fact that several players have returned the past couple of seasons and moved up on the draft board also is weighing on his mind.

    "All the guys that have had an opportunity to leave chose to come back and they came back and made a lot of money for themselves," McClover said.

  • Bowl money: Playing in sunny, warm weather in early January isn't the only reason players enjoy going big bowl games. The better the bowl, the better the gifts, or so Auburn's players say. That includes the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

    "They get a video camcorder, an iPod and several pieces of clothing, bowl watches, those types of things," Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville said. "The thing they are most excited about is the money they get."

    Sophomore quarterback Brandon Cox said he's happy to accept the NCAA-approved gifts.

    "It's what we look forward to each year," Cox said. "The better the bowl, the better the gifts. That's the fun part about it."

  • Back for more: Tre Smith said he'll for sure be back with the Tigers next season.

    "I'm planning on it unless something drastically bad happens," said Smith, a running back. "I've still got school paid for for a year. Get my degree and get a little extra school paid for. There's no point in me leaving just because I'm not playing on the football field."

    Smith said he'll approach spring practice like he has every other year. He'll attempt to work his way into the rotation and have fun doing it.

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