Austin Troxell Finishing His College Football At Auburn- Looking Forward To The 2022 Season
Auburn- Austin Troxell has one last chance to prove his worth for the Auburn football team and help bring the Tigers back to be a perennial power in the Southeastern Conference. The sixth-year senior looks to be the starting right tackle for Auburn when it squares off at home with the Mercer Bears this Saturday at 6:00 p.m. to kick off the 2022 season.
“I’ve been taking reps with the first team offense, but there is competition at every position during scrimmages and practices as nothing is given to me, despite this being my sixth year in the program,” said Troxell during a recent telephone interview from Auburn.
The former All-State player at Madison Academy, where he was one of the top-rated linemen in the country, has played in 32 games for Auburn since arriving on The Plains in 2017. The 6-foot-7, 309-pound athlete was a starter for the Tigers last season under new head coach Bryan Harsin. The squad finished 6-7 overall and 3-5 in the SEC where it finished tied for last place in the SEC West Division. Auburn lost its last five games on the season including a classic to Alabama and a 17-13 loss to Houston in the Birmingham Bowl.
The offensive line was inconsistent last season, and that area was one of the program’s biggest points of interest during the off-season where Troxell indicated there’s a new life among the entire team heading into 2022.
“I’ve been here a while and I have seen just about everything and the chemistry among this team is the best I’ve seen,” added Troxell. “We have good relationships all across the team and I expect all of this to carry onto the field this fall.”
Harsin was hired last year after Gus Malzahn was shown the door leaving the current players in a sort of limbo on how to handle the transition from old to new. Troxell said of the transition, “The philosophy changed with Coach Harsin, but, for me football is football, and last season was just a season of getting to know him and his style. It’s been good.”
The 23-year old Troxell graduated in Dec. 2020 with a degree in supply chain management and added a second degree last year in business administration. He also was married in May of 2021 to the former Sydney Chandler who works as a registered nurse in Montgomery.
He’s focusing heavily on this season as he feels the team has something to prove and there’s always the possibility the National Football League (NFL) will come-a-calling should he have an outstanding upcoming season. As for life after football, Troxell already has his future planned out. “I want to move back to the Huntsville area and obtain a job as Huntsville is a great place to live.”
As a small boy growing up in nearby Gurley the youngest of three sons of Matt and Christy Troxell was afraid of Santa Claus. Troxell was also always afraid of team mascots in their outfits. He chose to play football at age six where he was a running back. He was tall, but not overly big, and fast on his feet. In the seventh grade he transferred to Madison Academy where he became a two-sport athlete on both the school’s football and basketball teams. He was named Homecoming King his senior year.
The road down the life of playing football hasn’t always been easy. He had two knee injuries requiring surgeries in high school and missed his entire 2019 season on The Plains with a third knee injury he suffered during spring practices and another surgery. He knows his injuries have been major in severity, but has kept his head up in his rehabilitation.
“I haven’t felt this good since high school as coming back the way I did in 2020 is a lot of mental effort,” said Troxell. “It’s tough to get over that hurdle, but I learned the more mentally strong you are the more physically strong you’ll be.”
Away from the football field he and Sydney take care of their one-year old labradoodle dog. Troxell also loves to grab his fishing pole and hit the local waters for a great day of fishing with his teammates. He also makes sure he and Sydney have a couples’ date night where they’ll go out to dinner followed by a movie. They also take walks together.
Wearing No. 68 of the Auburn blue and orange is an honor according to Troxell. He said he loves the day-to-day routine with teammates in the locker room. He loves those moments where the Tigers win a game and two games in particular stand out in his memory- the 2019 Iron Bowl victory over Alabama and last season’s huge win over LSU that snapped a losing streak to LSU on its home turf dating back to 1999.
When Auburn takes to Jordan-Hare Stadium in front of more than 87,000 fans and Troxell steps onto Pat Dye Field for his final season, he will stand tall wearing his school colors with pride. “I wouldn’t change a thing as I have no regrets and this place fits my personality,” said Troxell. “I have one last chance and I feel this is where I was supposed to go.”