As the Alabama Crimson Tide takes the field to let another installment of the Iron Bowl play out, some players will have more than the Auburn Tigers on their mind.
Some will have the honor of standing alongside members of their family before the game and walk through the Senior Day ceremony before they play their final game in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
As they get ready to display their four or five years of hard work for the final time, they can’t help but think it has only been four or five weeks.
“It seems like just yesterday I was redshirting and struggling trying to learn the plays,” safety Robert Lester said.
Playing in the Iron Bowl provides a special flashback for Johnson, as he remembers coming to an Iron Bowl as a recruit, and how he almost didn’t come.
“I was getting over the flu, and I was debating if I was going to come or not, but I was here,” Johnson said.
The experience sold him.
“It was my first Iron Bowl, as a matter of fact. It was exciting,” Johnson said. “I was ready to play that day. I was ready to come in and work.”
Work is the operative word for those two and the rest of their class, as they do not want to exit Bryant-Denny Stadium for the final time like the 2010 class did after Auburn came back to beat the Tide 28-27.
“I’m going to go out and give it everything I have like any other game,” Johnson said.
Lester added, “Of course, I want to go out with a ‘W’. It’s sad but it’s exciting at the same time. I can’t really explain what it feels like until that moment actually comes but I know I’m going to miss playing here.”
For more on the meaning of the Iron Bowl to the senior class, click here to read about the friendly wager Lester has on the game every year.