AUBURN, Ala. (WIAT) — On Saturday, the Jacksonville State Gamecocks travel down to Auburn for a matchup with the Tigers. For JSU’s Devaunte Sigler, it’s a return to the Plains. It’s not uncommon for a player to change through his years playing in college; but for Sigler, that couldn’t be truer. The senior defensive tackle, who now wears the red of Jacksonville State, is far better than the freshman who was in the SEC.
“Because I’m way more mature now than I was back then,” says Sigler.
He was once a rising star on the Auburn defensive line, and the future looked bright – until in 2013. Things started to unravel and Sigler was ultimately dismissed from the team due to a disagreement with new head coach Gus Malzahn.
With no direction, Sigler went home to Mobile to figure out his next move. Meanwhile, his former teammates went on to experience an unforgettable season and run to the National Championship, while Sigler was forced to watch from home.
“You know it hurt me watching television every Saturday,” says Sigler, “watching those guys like I played with those guys Sammie Coates, Quan Bray, those guys are my roommates you know it hurt me…it hurt me bad.”
During his year way from the game Sigler searched endlessly for a job to support his newborn daughter. Finally he ended up getting a job with his uncle as a brick layer. In a matter of months, a promising football career had turned to one of back-breaking labor.
“So I was doing a lot of shoveling, a lot of picking up bricks, a lot of trash picking up around the school actually so that was hard every day getting up you know,” says Sigler.
Soon after Sigler had had enough. It was time to play football again, and to finish his education. One of his first calls was to his friend, and former Auburn Tiger Chris Landrum, who had transferred to Jacksonville State in search of more playing time.
Sigler started in 9 games and registered 37 tackles with 3.5 sacks. He gained All-American honors and being named the Ohio Valley conference defensive player of the year.
The Devaunte Sigler, who wears the red of Jacksonville State is motivated by more than just football, he’s playing for a chance at a better life for him and his daughter. “Nothing can stop me that’s my daughter it’s just a whole other level when you’re playing for someone besides yourself.”
Sigler is one of 5 players at Jacksonville State who transferred from the SEC.
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