Presented annually to college football’s top lineman, Dismukes is one of three finalists for the 2014 award along with University of Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff and University of Texas defensive tackle Malcolm Brown.
“I think that's awesome,” Dismukes said on Tuesday after learning that he is a finalist. “I think that goes to show it's not just me. Those are team awards. I couldn't do it without the guys next to me, my coaches and all these players pushing me and me pushing those guys every day.”
Smith, an offensive guard, won the award in 1959 while Rocker, a defensive tackle, was honored in 1988.
Dismukes, who received an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl this week along with teammate Gabe Wright, has been an Auburn starter since his freshman season in 2011 after leading Spanish Fort High School to its first-ever state championship in 2010.
Auburn’s head coach, Gus Malzahn, said, “Our center is like another quarterback. He makes all the calls up front. Everything is on him, especially when you go pace. The center directs everything. He is a very good athlete. He is a tough guy. He has been one of our leaders around here for a long time.”
The winner of the 69th Outland Trophy will be announced on Dec. 11th during The Home Depot College Football Awards Show.
Dismukes pointed out his focus is on helping the Tigers get ready to play their rival, Alabama, on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa.
“I think this the best rivalry in college football, especially in my house with my brother having played at Alabama,” he said. “I want to be able to keep the upper hand in that ordeal for another year, but this is the game you look up to year-round.,,There is no other game like it.”
With Alabama 10-1 and ranked as high as No. 1 coming into Saturday’s game, the Tide is a favorite vs. 8-3 Auburn. Alabama needs to win to stay in contention for a spot in the new college football playoff and will need to beat the Tigers to earn a spot in the SEC Championship Game that Auburn won last year if Mississippi State defeats Ole Miss.
“The pressure’s not on us,” Dismukes said. “If it was, so be it. We are going to do our best to do what we have to do to get better today. We are going to give it our best shot. We are going to go in there and play great football.”
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