Nick Fairley was the foundation of Auburn’s leaning Jenga tower of a defense. Without Fairley, maybe Auburn loses to LSU or Alabama. Without Fairley drawing double teams, maybe Auburn’s pass rush would’ve resembled its pass defense. Without Fairley, Aaron Murray’s sheets would still be dry.
In addition to dominating the line of scrimmage, Fairley, one of Auburn’s biggest on-field and online stars, dominated the Twitter feeds of thousands of Auburn fans previously ignorant of the micro-blogging service, which the Lombardi Award winner and potential NCAA 12 model (we’re told he’s “lobbying” for the cover) took to late in the season with all the force and flamboyance of wrestling legend Ric Flair, an apparent idol of young “Nick Flair” (“Wooooo!“).
TWER had a recent opportunity to interview Fairley via e-mail.
Discussed: what to do with that first, fat pro paycheck, dirty play vs. personal horsepower, and why Auburn is superior to Alabama.
You’ve said before that you were extremely shy around the media at the beginning of the season — what happened?
I just got used to the media and realized they were really asking things the fans wanted to know about. When I think of it that way I don’t mind talking to the media, because I’m really enjoying talking with the fans, and fans make the game more fun.
You seem to have gone after Twitter with the same intensity you went after quarterbacks. What got you started? What do you get out of it? Do you plan to keep up the pace Auburn fans grew accustomed to when you enter the pros?
My big brother Travis Williams got me started; I get to interact with my fans and yes, I will definitely continue using social media as a pro. I hope all Auburn fans will follow me on twitter @Nick_Fairley251 and my Facebook fan page… because I read it all and talk back all the time.
What’s the first thing you’re going to buy/do with your first pro paycheck?
Take mom and dad to a nice dinner.
Auburn fans — and any football fan who watched you play this season — know that the reputation for dirty play was undeserved. When did you first become aware of that reputation and what was your reaction? Did it affect your style of play? Did your coaches give you any advice on how to handle it?
Yes. Coach Rocker came to me one day and was like, “Do not change the way you play. . . . You play the game the way it should be played.” I just turn my motor on and never turn it off until it’s zero zero.
Can you describe your relationship with Coach Rocker?
Great. He taught me a lot and inspired me to strive to have my name on the stadium just like him.
What did you do after the national championship game? How did you spend the rest of that night?
Chilled with some teammates, family, and friends.
What’s your favorite highlight of yourself? The body slam of Jordan Jefferson? The goal line stuff of Darron Thomas? The tip and interception in Starkville?
What was your best game? What was your worst game?
LSU. Didn’t have a bad game. lol
Where did your wrestling/championship belt shtick come from, and when did you notice that really taking off?
Just something I came up with and it went from there. Fans just seemed to love it.
What was your favorite class at Auburn? Favorite thing to do on a Friday night? Favorite restaurant?
Ms. Farmer’s class, English; get ready for the game; any place that will feed me.
Where are you keeping / will you keep your Lombardi Award? When did you start to feel you had a shot at winning it and was that a goal for you at the beginning of the season?
Yes. I will keep it at my mom and dad’s house. After the LSU game. Yes it was [a goal].
Is Auburn special? Is Auburn better than Alabama? Why?
Hands down. It’s a family.
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