November 4, 2012

NOTEBOOK: Burgess happy with his new home

AUBURN -- Blake Burgess' utilitarian career took a new turn during the New Mexico State game.

The junior, playing tight end for injured reserve C.J. Uzomah, caught the first pass of his lifetime for a 10-yard gain. The play set off a wild celebration along the Auburn sideline, where Burgess is among the team's most popular players.

It's difficult to dislike someone who has worked at center, guard, tackle, fullback and now tight end during his college career - all without a single complaint.

"(The catch) was a surprise - and I'm very grateful for it," Burgess said. "It's really exciting. I've been trying to prepare since Day One. That's how I've been pretty much my entire college career. Now it's coming to fruition. I'm glad I'm prepared."

Burgess, who arrived as a walk-on center in 2009, is far from a natural at his new position. Speed isn't exactly his strength, though years of training as an offensive lineman have given him the ability to block intelligently and with force.

That's what Auburn needs on the outside with Uzomah and senior Philip Lutzenkirchen out with injuries. Burgess said he's been consulting with Lutzenkirchen along with new starter Brandon Fulse and freshman Ricky Parks to learn his new position quickly.

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