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Kerby gets first taste of Iron Bowl

Demopolis High School alum Jacob Kerby spent the last week on the plains pretending to be Preston Dial. Kerby has never met Dial, a junior tight end for the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team.

But as a member of Auburn’s scout team offense Kerby, a redshirt freshman walk-on, served as No. 85 this week.

“I’m on the offensive scout team. I’ve been No. 85 — I think his name is Preston Dial — all week. He’s a tight end-fullback kind of guy.”

Emulating opposing players has been Kerby’s job this season as he has played an integral part in Auburn practice sessions in view of getting the Tigers ready from week to week.

“They’ve stressed to us a lot that we are as much a part of the team as anybody else,” Kerby said of the encouragement the scout team has received from head coach Gene Chizik and his coaching staff. “Our job is to help get the starters to prepare to go out and get a win.”

Kerby has dressed in a handful of games this season, but will have to continue waiting for his first chance to dress in an Iron Bowl. Still, the 2009 DHS grad expressed his excitement to be a part of the program at Auburn.

Prior to this year, Kerby had never so much as been to an Iron Bowl. And this go-round, he spent his week getting the Auburn starters ready to try to win one.

“It’s a lot different,” Kerby said of the amped-up atmosphere that took over the Auburn practices as Friday’s contest with arch rival Alabama drew closer. “The intensity is just picking up everywhere.”

After having spent the past two weeks alongside his teammates in preparation for the state of Alabama’s biggest annual game, Kerby said the game has taken on a whole new meaning for him.

“It’s a lot closer to me now,” Kerby said. “It’s a lot more intense.”