By Jay Coulter
It’s time for Auburn to do the right thing. After nearly 20 years, it’s time for Auburn to retire Tracy Rocker’s jersey. He’s without question, the best Auburn player to ever line up on that side of the ball. His picture already appears with the other Tiger greats on the Auburn scoreboard. Let’s cement his legacy in stone.
How good was Rocker? He became the first player in the SEC to win both the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award. He was a three time All-SEC selection at defensive tackle and was named All-American twice.
He lead the SEC in tackles by a down lineman as a freshman. During his four year career he recorded 354 tackles. During his senior season, he anchored a defense that was tops in the country. He was inducted into the College Football Hall Of Fame in 2004.
Quite simply, he was a man among boys.
Why the University has waited so long to do it is hard to understand. Has it been an oversight? Do Auburn officials not believe he deserves it? Has Rocker made someone mad?
Go ahead and make plans now for Rocker. He’s currently an assistant coach with Arkansas and is scheduled to be in Auburn next year, assuming Houston Nutt makes it that long. Plan ahead now; put his picture on the Arkansas game ticket and do a big pre-game ceremony. No one is more deserving than Tracy Rocker.
There have been only three jerseys retired in Auburn’s history. They include 1971 Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan, All-American Terry Beasley and 1985 Heisman winner Bo Jackson. There’s plenty of room for one more.