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Mosley enjoying time in the spotlight with Auburn

Started out of high school in junior college

POSTED: June 29, 2011 6:20 p.m.
For The Times/

Auburn starting right tackle Brandon Mosley blocks against the University of Oregon in this year's national championship game in Glendale, Ariz.

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Just two years ago, Brandon Mosley was working out in rural Kansas, preparing for his first season with the Coffeyville Community College Ravens.

Two months ago he saw his former teammate and quarterback, who he blocked for the season prior, taken as the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Three weeks ago, he met the President of the United States. And on June 19, he received three championship rings.

Talk about the difference two years can make.
"I never thought in a million years that I would be in this position," said Mosley, a former Jefferson High standout and current starting right tackle for Auburn University.

"I guess it was all worth it in the end," he said.

Mosley played one season at Coffeyville, a junior college, before transferring to Auburn.

It was a path similar to that of his former Auburn teammates and NFL first-round draft picks Nick Fairley and Cam Newton, except for the fact that Newton and Fairley were almost certain that an opportunity to play big-time college football and a shot at the NFL were in their grasps.

Mosley was not always certain about his future in football.

Now 6-6 and 310 pounds, Mosley played at 30 pounds lighter as a tight end and defensive end in his only season with Coffeyville after redshirting his first year as a transfer from Georgia Military College.

As a standout at Jefferson under former coach Bill Navas, Mosley showed the athletic ability and intangibles to play at the Division-I level, but didn't have the academic eligibility coming out of high school.

After "not fitting in with the military environment" at Georgia Military College and playing one season for Coffeyville - where he was named to the All-Jayhawk Conference team as a tight end and recorded 35 tackles as a defensive end - Mosley began to get significant interest from several D-I schools.

The only problem: most of them wanted him to play as an offensive lineman.

"I wasn't for the idea at all at first," Mosley said. "I remember even turning down [the University of] Georgia when they came to me wanting me as a tackle," he added.

It wasn't until Mosley made a trip down to another suitor and met his current coach, Auburn offensive line coach Jeff Grimes, that he began to be sold on the idea.

"He (Grimes) said that some his most successful linemen that he had coached in the past were originally tight ends or defensive ends," Mosley said. "The more I thought about the opportunity, the more I warmed up to it."

While Mosley was asked to put on weight, he was urged to not have any drop of in athleticism, something that fits in well with the blocking schemes of Auburn's spread offense.

Mosley had a good offseason before his first fall with the Tigers, but neither he nor anyone who was following his career could have foreseen what was to come.
In a 52-26 blowout of Arkansas State in the season opener, Mosley got his first dose of playing time in a Tigers uniform.

The experience was unlike anything he had witnessed before, but butterflies quickly turned into confidence and excitement.

"I was really nervous thinking of the thousands of fans that were watching in the stands and on T.V. at home," he said about his first playing experience in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

"After a few plays, the fear and nervousness went away and I just started having fun."

The next week, he saw substantial playing time in the SEC opener at Mississippi State after starting left tackle Lee Ziemba went down with an injury.

Two games later, he received his first career start, filling in at right tackle for an injured A.J. Green against South Carolina.

He started the remaining 10 games at tackle and helped anchor a veteran offensive line that helped lead one of the most high-powered offenses in college football last year, producing a Heisman trophy winner at quarterback in Newton.

After capping off an undefeated regular season and winning the SEC championship, Mosley got the opportunity that only a few football players will ever have, the chance to play in a BCS championship game.

Mosley helped the Tigers rush for 254 yards and compile 519 yards of total offense on Jan. 10 in Glendale, Ariz., as Auburn defeated Oregon 22-19 for the school's first title in 53 years.

On June 19, Mosley and his Auburn teammates received the rings for their efforts, three of them in fact - one each for the SEC championship, the national title win and the BCS championship win.

The ring presentation came just two weeks after a trip to the nation's capitol to meet President Barack Obama.

Now, Mosley is focused on the upcoming season, which marks his last year of eligibility.

Once the newcomer on an experienced offensive line, Mosley will now be looked upon as a leader up front for the Tigers, as they take on a new identity after losing the bulk of last year's squad to graduation and the draft.

"(The offensive line) is not so much young as we are just not experienced," Mosley said. "But the older guys did a great job teaching me and the other guys, so we should be in good shape."

Busy with summer workouts and school, Mosley doesn't get many chances to come back to Jefferson, but he did get the chance to see his younger brother Kyle graduate from JHS a month and a half ago.

Kyle, who also was a football standout at JHS, will follow in his brother's footsteps and attend Coffeyville.

According to Brandon, Kyle could find himself in a similar situation as himself in a few years.

It's safe to say he would gladly take that outcome.

 



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