AUBURN — Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze has said long said that overhauling the Tigers' wide receiver room would be a priority, but sophomore Jay Fair has proven the team did in fact have some talent at the position last season.
Fair, a native of Dallas, Texas, saw action in nine games last season but only caught two passes for 34 yards. This season will likely be a different story, however, as Fair has been a standout player throughout fall camp.
"I've been feeling pretty good about my role and what's been asked of me," Fair said. "I feel like camp's been pretty successful for the receiver room and the offense as a whole. I'm excited to show the world what we can do on the offensive side of the ball."
Despite not showing up on the stat sheet frequently, Fair learned a lot last season and has been applying those lessons to his game.
"Adversity hits at all different points and times of the season," Fair said. "I'm just going to try to remain the same, not too high, not too low throughout the season. Just relying on my faith."
The offense that Freeze and offensive coordinator Phillip Montgomery put together will be an improvement from last season. Fair is confident that his skill set is a good fit for the new system.
"I feel like it's a very receiver-friendly offense," Fair said. "Playing well in space and using your speed down the field."
The wide receiver position will look vastly different from what the Tigers had in 2022, but Fair is optimistic about the unit.
"I feel like we're an electric group as a whole," Fair said. "Shane Hooks has a lot to bring to the table, Jyaire (Shorter) has a lot to bring to the table, Nick Mardner has a lot to bring to the table, Caleb Burton as well. I feel like as we get those new faces comfortable with the offense it will be a good year for all of those guys."
Auburn's wide receivers coach Marcus Davis, who played for Auburn from 2013-2016, has been an asset to the team and the position. Fair said he felt good about the difference that Davis had made.
"It's been pretty good considering he was in our shoes not too long ago as a player," Fair said. "That relationship from coach to player is pretty easy to have so I feel like he has a bond with the whole receiver room that's growing day-by-day."
Fair mentioned how much he is looking forward to getting the season underway.
"It feels good to have a pretty strong fanbase supporting us no matter what through all the ups and downs of previous years," Fair said. "I feel like it'll be a pretty exciting day for the Auburn Family and the offense as well."
Fair and the rest of the Tigers do not have to wait much longer as Auburn kicks off the season against the UMass Minutemen at home inside Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 2. The game is set for 2:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on ESPN.
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