Dismukes Sees Progress During the Grind

Veteran offensive lineman Reese Dismukes talks about preseason football practice and his expectations for the Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--Reese Dismukes, a two-year starter at center, heads into his junior season as a leader of the offensive line for the Auburn football Tigers.

"Every day we are making progress," he said of the line group that only lost one starter from last year's team, 2012 senior guard John Sullen.

"We really haven't taken a step back any day, I think," Dismukes said. "Every day we have gone we have gotten better and I think that is what it is going to take to get better in this league."

In the mid-August heat in the middle of the preseason camp grind, players can hit the wall, especially when there are two practices in one day as was the case for the Tigers on Tuesday.

Asked how he is dealing with that the junior center said, "Practice is going good. We are just taking it a day at a time, one foot in the front of the other. That is about how it goes at this time of the year."

Flanked by guards Chad Slade and Alex Kozan on the first team offense with Greg Robinson expected to start at left tackle, probably the least settled spot up front is at right tackle. Avery Young, who started the first three games there last year before being injured, is back and challenging sophomore Patrick Miller for first string status. Shon Coleman, a redshirt freshman like Young and Kozan, is also in the mix.

Dismukes predicts that whoever is in the starting lineup will probably be doing a lot of run blocking early in the season with the Tigers having a real possibility of putting a first-time starter on the field at quarterback. "We are going to be a big key to winning football games," he said of the OL?group.

Auburn's offensive line coach, J.B. Grimes, said he has been pleased with how Dismukes has performed going back to spring training. Grimes said he likes the toughness Dismukes has shown, something he also was known for as a star performer at Spanish Fort High.

"I think it was instilled in me from my dad,"?he said, noting that when he was young he spent his summers doing manual labor for his father's plumbing business. "I wasn't a kid who got to sleep in and play video games all day long," he said. "I was working at a young age. That has really been my backbone."

Dismukes said the worst thing he had to do was dig ditches in the heat for his dad's business. "When he got his first tractor it was amazing," the lineman said with a smile.

Dismukes is shown in game action last season as a sophomore.

Coordinator Rhett Lashlee said the offense has made progress this preseason playing at the fast tempo the coaches want to see. It is something that Dismukes has seen, too. "Every day you just get better and better at it," the center said.

"We are going to be go as fast as the refs will let us," he added. "They kind of slow you down a little bit."

Looking at the big picture on his side of the line of scrimmage, Dismukes said he has "no doubt" the Tigers have made progress since the start of preseason practice.

"I think maybe one day I can count where we really didn't go out there and get better where it really wasn't a good practice," he said. "I think other than that we have really gone out there and worked to get better every day."

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