Hometown hero foundation of Auburn defense

Published 3:14 pm Wednesday, November 29, 2023

By Keith McCormick

Keldric Faulk, a native of Highland Home in north Crenshaw County, made his Freshman Iron Bowl debut Saturday on defense for the Auburn Tigers. In high school, his presence brought big coaching names to see him play and to recruit his talent for their programs. Now, at the collegiate level, hometown fans travel to support him as he represents his community. 

Faulk took the field Saturday in the toughest, most anticipated match of Alabama’s football season against No. 8 ranked University of Alabama. In terms of records and stats, many on the sports scene count the Iron Bowl as a special kind of rivalry and on the Tigers’ defense Faulk, weighing in at 275 pounds and standing 6-foot-five, faced off against the Tide’s No. 74 Kayden Proctor, 6-foot-7 and 360 pounds, and No. 65 J.C. Latham who is  6-foot-6 and 360 pounds.

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As expected, Faulk shut down the outside routes and hurried Alabama’s quarterback, impacting the Tide’s passing game.

Having the likes of Florida State, Alabama and Auburn to visit the Flying Squadron of Highland Home School, a small 2A team, brought a bit of celebrity status to Faulk in high school. When the all-star ultimately picked Auburn University as the program where he would continue his football career, he further put Crenshaw County on the map, and area football fans – die-hard Alabama fans and lifelong Auburn fans – became Keldric Faulk fans and followed his career.  

From the first game of the season, there was the continuous stream of Faulk’s TV sightings posted across social media platforms, including Tiger Walk snaps and selfies from Auburn home games. People in local stores and restaurants were talking about Faulk and the defensive super star he became.  

Outside of Highland Home’s only fast food restaurant, Subway, Faulk was grabbing a sandwich and  talking about summer workouts. When asked whether he thought Nick Saban would still like to have him at the University of Alabama, Faulk responded to say he was happy on the plains of Auburn.

“I think I’m good and War Eagle,” he said.

Saturday’s game came down to the final seconds with Alabama winning on a fourth-and-31 hail-mary to Isiah Bonds. Even though the Tigers came up short, Faulk’s hometown remained proud of their hero and all that he has been able to accomplish so far.

During the post-game interview, Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze discussed Faulk’s role on the team. 

“Keldric has done a fantastic job contributing to the team and is becoming one of the foundations to the defense here,” Freeze said.