The Troy native missed Auburn's final three regular-season games, the Outback Bowl and spring practice after suffering a serious neck injury against Ole Miss. He was forced to wear an invasive neck brace for three months.
Still, those days appear over. Etheridge said he'll play this fall.
``This is certainly quite a boost for all of us," defensive coordinator Ted Roof said. ``He was so tough about it -- he never sulked, never had that poor me attitude. He knows what he wants to do and he did everything possible to make that happen. It's inspiring it what it is."