Dismukes Focused On No. 9

Auburn center Reese Dismukes talks about getting ready for his final game with the Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for Auburn senior center Reese Dismukes. Following the regular season he became the 29th player in school history to be named a consensus All-American. He was also the first Auburn player to win the Rimington Award, which is presented annually to college football's top center.

Entering his career on the Plains as one of the top prospects in the country at his position, Dismukes started as a freshman for the Tigers and hasn’t looked back. Despite his achievements on the field and steady play, he said for him the dream wasn’t awards, but just to get on the field.

“Coming here that wasn’t my objective by any means,” Dismukes said. “My goal really was just to play. As I progressed obviously the goals got bigger and the dreams got bigger. I’m just blessed to be able to achieve some of those things.”

With 49 career starts, the second most in school history behind Lee Ziemba, Dismukes has been a steadying influence for the Tigers since taking the field for the first time in 2011. Growing on and off the field, he was named a team captain this season along with senior defensive tackle Gabe Wright. That is something Dismukes said is a major accomplishment in his opinion because it means he has done what his coaches asked of him as a member of the Tigers.

“Obviously, I think being a captain means just as much or more than the All-American or the Rimington,” Dismukes said. “I want to lead these guys and be the guy that they look to in tough situations and just be the one they can count on. That means just as much or more to me.”

Reese Dismukes is shown in Florida earlier this month where he received the Rimington Trophy.

The biggest thing now for Dismukes and a big group of seniors is leaving on a high note. To do that means getting a win against Wisconsin, something players on this team have said they are determined make happen on New Year's Day in Tampa.

“Our goal and objective is to be the most improved team from the last game of the season to the bowl game,” Dismukes said. “Us seniors, we’re trying to lead the team to do that. Obviously, that’s a big goal of ours. Hopefully, we can get number nine on the first.”

After that it will be time for the next chapter in Dismukes’ football career as he will be trying to earn a spot in the NFL. That starts with a week in Mobile to compete in the Senior Bowl when he will have the opportunity to play against the best of the best in front of dozens of NFL scouts. An important week for Dismukes and his professional football hopes, Senior Bowl week and life in the NFL is not on the mind right now, the senior noted.

“That’s on the backburner,” Dismukes said of the NFL. “That’s really not my real focus right now. Obviously you have to think about that some, but my main focus right now is us winning number nine, getting these guys down to Tampa and having solid bowl prep there and winning this game. We can start worrying about that at some other point.”

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