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Atkinson thanks Auburn family -Senior Year

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'Your support has meant everything' - Montavious Atkinson senior spotlight
As a junior, Montavious Atkinson finished with 43 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. He'll take on a bigger role this coming season. <i>Photo: Cat Wofford/Auburn Athletics</i>
As a junior, Montavious Atkinson finished with 43 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. He'll take on a bigger role this coming season. Photo: Cat Wofford/Auburn Athletics
July 10, 2018

 

 


 

By Tyler Carter
AuburnTigers.com

AUBURN, Ala. -- With the start of his senior campaign quickly approaching, linebacker Montavious Atkinson is facing his farewell season with joy.

"(Being a senior) feels good," he said. "Just to know that I made it through all the stuff that I went through just to get here, it feels good."

A three-sport standout from Langston Hughes High School in Fairburn, Ga., Atkinson was initially drawn to Auburn because of the emphasis put on family. He committed early, in March 2014, and signed with the Tigers 11 months later.

"(The Auburn family) means not giving up on somebody," Atkinson said. "Encouraging everyone, from the players to the coaches. Encouraging you every day to get better -- not giving up on you when things aren't going your way. That's family."

Once he arrived on the Plains, it wasn't long before Atkinson became a contributor on the Auburn defense. He saw action at the free safety position as a true freshman, and then he moved to linebacker at the beginning of his sophomore year and finished with 30 tackles. He also made his first career start against Vanderbilt that season.

However, the breakout year didn't come until last fall when the junior saw action in all 14 games and recorded 43 tackles, a forced fumble and a sack. He had a career-best seven tackles and a tackle for loss against Mississippi State, and he led the Tigers with six tackles and a forced fumble in the win at Missouri.

Heading into his senior season, Atkinson knows more will be asked of him.

With veterans like Tre' Williams, Jeff Holland and Tray Matthews all leaving and now playing in the NFL, there's a need for more leaders on the defense, and as a senior, Atkinson knows that it's his time to step into that role and become a leader for this year's group.

He's already giving advice to the freshmen who have yet to play their first game.

"Trust the process," he tells them. "When stuff isn't going your way, keep going and never give up on it."

It's the same mentality that Atkinson learned while he was at Auburn, and it's the reason he's developed into the man he is today -- both on and off the field.

"Working hard makes a tremendous impact in all areas," Atkinson said. "When I came here, I learned how to take care of my responsibilities. It's all on me at the end of the day. And I think it has prepared me well for life after Auburn."

After his Auburn career concludes, Atkinson has dreams on playing in the NFL. It's been his dream since he was a little kid. But regardless of whether or not that dream works out, he also has aspirations that go beyond sports.

"I'm graduating in media studies and would like to someday write movies," he said.

In the spring, Atkinson took a screenwriting class where he had to write original screenplays. His favorite was a horror movie called "Bus Ride."

Auburn fans hope his starring role on the field this fall follows a script with a happier ending -- one that takes the Tigers all the way to the SEC championship. The senior linebacker would love nothing more than to reward the fans for their patience and loyalty.

"To the Auburn family, thank you for allowing me to come here, for staying with me when I was down and for encouraging me to give what I had to the team," Atkinson said. "Your support has meant everything."

 
Edited by toddc
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First player I've ever seen age backwards since he got here.

montavious-atkinson-ft-twitter-022215jpg

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23 minutes ago, AUDub said:

First player I've ever seen age backwards since he got here.

montavious-atkinson-ft-twitter-022215jpg

This picture is what I think about every single time I hear his name. 

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