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Hard Work Pays Off for Three Tigers

College athletes from coast to coast work extremely hard from the time they are young enough to catch a football, throw a baseball, kick a soccer ball or shoot a basketball. College athletics is a 24/7/365 job.

I've never played major college athletics. I played baseball at Gardner-Webb University for a year (read "caught bullpen sessions and kept the best scorebook in the Atlantic Sun conference"). That in no way can compare to playing a major sport for a major college program, but it was still very demanding.

So when a kid's hard work pays off, it makes me pretty happy. It doesn't matter if the kid plays for our most hated rival or the East Birmingham Community College Basket Weavers.

Auburn's Trent Fisher, Corey Grant and Jake Lembke were rewarded for their hard work on Wednesday night when they each received scholarships from head coach Gene Chizik to play football for their university. It's not only free education for the three young men, it's a sign of trust that they will represent Auburn in a way that the university deserves. It's a sign to others that the hard work they have put in year round has not gone unnoticed.

Fisher has been touted for his football smarts. He is the son of St. Louis Rams head coach, Jeff Fisher, and his play at safety in the spring and early fall has been applauded.

Grant is a transfer from Alabama who decided he wanted to come back home and play down the road from his native of Opelika. It's been said that he could be the fastest north/south runner on the team. He obviously has talent but he could have easily stayed at Alabama and kept his scholarship there. He sat out a year, practiced hard and earned a scholarship.

Lembke is this year's long snapper, which is such an thankless job. Long snappers mostly get noticed when they mess up, and I'm sure Lembke appreciates getting the notice for doing all the good things.

Good things happen to those who work hard. These three men believe in a phrase with which most Auburn folks are familiar -- "work, hard work." It got them a free education. Congratulations, and War Eagle to them.

Related: Want to see an awesome video about someone receiving a scholarship? James Franklin gets some bro points for this: