Former Alabama Linemen Offer Insight To NFL

D.J. Fluker enters his third season as the starting right tackle for the San Diego Chargers. The mammoth 6-5, 339-pound lineman from New Orleans has started 33 of 34 games including all 16 at right tackle in 2014. Occasionally, the 2013 Pro Football Writers (PFWA) All-Rookie selection, moved to the left tackle position to chore up a depleted offensive line.

Chosen in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft as the 11th pick overall, D.J. Fluker has risen in a relatively short time to become one of the inspirational leaders of the San Diego Chargers. He earned a reputation in college and subsequently in professional football as a player committed to the task.

The generous former Alabama All-America and All-SEC offensive lineman is just as serious with off-the-field charitable endeavors. McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile was one of the benefactors of proceeds from his first annual D.J. Fluker Charity Golf Tournament. Fluker hosted the event in June at the Heron Lakes Country Club. A free youth football camp was held the following day.

Fluker is a regular visitor to Juvenile Hall and other facilities in the San Diego community treating at-risk youth. He speaks to them about overcoming hardship and offers viable choices to meet the difficult challenges life presents. Recently in July 2015, he was honored for his efforts by the Juvenile Justice Commission at its annual awards banquet.

San Diego teammate Damion Square was a 2013 undrafted free agent coming out of the Crimson Tide program. The rugged 6-2, 298 pound defensive lineman was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles and played in ten games for the NFC East team for one season before being claimed off waivers in August 2014 by the Kansas City Chiefs. After nearly a half-season on the inactive list with Kansas City, the Houston native was released and picked up by the San Diego Chargers in November 2014. He is working towards earning a roster spot.

Chargers Coach Mike McCoy discussed the former Alabama stars on his practice roster.

As for Fluker, McCoy said, “We are going to rotate players all around. We are looking for the best combination of the five guys up front. We have a couple of weeks to go there and we’ve moved guys around. He’ll (Fluker) do about everything besides play center and Joe (D’Alessandriss, offensive line coach) is probably working him at that in some point in time. We like to move guys around. He’s done a great job for us so far.”

McCoy added about Square, “Like every player, we are all competing. We have 90 guys on the roster right now. There is not just one guy penciled in at certain spots here and there. We are trying to find the best combination of players. That’s what the pre-season games are for and all the off-season, the OTA’s, the mini-camps and training camps things like that so he (Square) is fighting for a job like everybody else is on this football team.”

BamaMag.com met with the duo last Friday after practice at Chargers Park for one-on-one interviews.


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