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Where are they now? G Rob Selby

Rob Selby
Rob Selby

War Eagle!

It would have only seemed fitting to hear that chant echoing through the Vet on gamedays in 1991 with no fewer than four former Auburn Tigers on Philadelphia's roster.

Veteran offensive linemen Ben Tamburello and John Hudson were joined that year by rookie James Joseph, a running back picked in the seventh round, and Rob Selby, an All-Southeast Conference offensive tackle, who was selected by the Eagles in the third round.

"I didn't have any kind of a draft party or anything. It was on a Sunday, so all my roommates had gone home, and I was like, 'I'm going to chill and hang out here,'" Selby says. "And I got a phone call, 'Hi, this is Carol Cullen, secretary for the Philadelphia Eagles. I have (Head Coach) Rich Kotite on the phone. You've been drafted in the third round.'

"I didn't know who Rich Kotite was. And so I thought initially it was one of my buddies pulling a prank on me. Obviously, it wasn't. But I was glad to get it over with. I never thought about the Eagles, but Auburn was run, block, get downhill. So the NFC East suited me perfectly."

With Hudson, his four-year college roommate, and Tamburello, who was also raised in Birmingham, Selby immediately felt welcomed in the O-linemen's meeting room.

"And then Ron Solt and Dave Alexander were there, and Ronnie Heller," Selby says. "I mean, gosh, you couldn't ask for a better group of guys that would show me what was what. If I had any questions, they were right there. I guess some places you worry about getting hazed or having some competition with the vets, but I didn't see any of that when I got to Philly."

With the Eagles choosing Tennessee's All-American offensive tackle Antone Davis in the first round of the 1991 NFL Draft, they decided to move Selby to guard.

"Mostly, I ran pretty well," he says. "I probably didn't have the length of the tackles, but I was really there to pull and chase the linebackers down. I always thought that was basically the reason for putting me inside at guard, to have a bubble over me."

While Selby wasn't technically starting at guard as a rookie, he was about as close as you can get, splitting time with a couple of veterans.

"They started Ron Solt at right guard and Dennis McKnight at left guard, and I would come in the second series of the game at right guard, and then the third series, I went in at left guard," Selby says. "And we did that the whole game. After the first series of each half, I didn't come out. I would just swap back and forth.

"I was so much more comfortable on the right side. It was literally like trying to sign your name with the right hand and then two seconds later signing your name again with your left hand. I just wasn't as proficient on that side."

After guard Eric Floyd pulled a hamstring a few plays into the first quarter of the 1993 season opener against the then-Phoenix Cardinals, Selby found himself entering the game a little sooner than he expected.

"I liked to run and loosen up before I knew I was going in," Selby says. "Well, I didn't know. I went in and about the third snap we called a quarterback sweep for Randall Cunningham, where both guards pulled.

"I got out in front of Randall and planted my foot, and you heard everything pop. And I didn't hit anybody. I just cut on the turf, and down I went. I always assumed it had something to do with me going in cold."

Selby tore the ACL in his right knee. Placed on Injured Reserve, Selby would keep his feet up the rest of that season and the first 14 games of the next.

With Philadelphia for four years before concluding his seven-year NFL career with the Cardinals, some of Selby's fondest memories as an Eagle occurred a little less than 100 miles away from the Vet.

"I always liked going to Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands," he says. "I thought that was neat just because the fans were … We had rowdy (college) fans in (Tennessee's) Neyland Stadium and down in Baton Rouge (for games against LSU), but none of them had the mouth on them like the fans in the Meadowlands. I thought it was entertaining, hearing all the banter. And they were actually pretty creative when they would yell at you from the stands."

Embarking on a post-playing career during the offseasons when he was with the Cardinals, Selby returned home to Auburn, where he would construct houses.

"When I got done (playing in the NFL), that was what I knew and the people I knew," Selby says. "That led to the opportunity to build some residential construction. And then we started managing some commercial properties."

Owner of Selby Companies, he now mostly concentrates on the property management side of the business.

"We manage a daycare, we manage a marina, we manage commercial properties in Auburn and Birmingham," Selby says. "We manage a few more things like a sewer plant, a utility plant, and I do some construction when I've got time. I've built some multifamily units just recently.

"We have some mature companies. And so when I can, I really like just getting out and talking a little bit more with my local managers and employees. It's not so much of, you know, get the next steel on the ground and get something dug. That's a little bit more hectic. This is still busy, but it's a little more relaxed."

Making their home in Auburn, Selby and his wife, Susan, have two children – Olivia and Seth. Olivia recently completed grad school at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, and Seth is a senior at Samford University in Birmingham.

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