Big Spring For Big Tackle

King Dunlap is looking to take over a vacant spot in Auburn's starting lineup.

Auburn, Ala.--After redshirting and spending two years as a backup, King Dunlap is looking for a larger role as a junior.

"I have chance to come in and start at left tackle this season and I am looking forward to that," Dunlap tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I have big shoes to fill with Marcus leaving, but it is nice to get back out on the field again and get back in the flow."

Dunlap and his teammates started spring practice last Tuesday. On Thursday they put the pads on for the first time and on Saturday morning they had their first scrimmage of the season. Auburn coaches say Dunlap has done a good job in every workout and his play was one of the offensive highlights in the scrimmage at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

One of the primary issues on offense is finding replacements for starting offensive tackles Marcus McNeill and Troy Reddick.

Offensive coordinator Al Borges and offensive line coach Hugh Nall are watching Dunlap closely this spring.

"King looks like he has got a clue," Borges says. "He has played enough now that he has been exposed enough to the system. He is used to Coach Nall coaching him.

"I think he is one guy, who if he keeps coming like he is coming, is going to be a very capable replacement for Marcus."

Dunlap says after spending two years in Borges' offensive system, he feels confident he is ready to step into a starting role. "Coach Borges has been here for a couple of years so we know what we will be doing. The difference this spring is we will have to get used to the defense because (new defensive coordinator) Will Muschamp is bringing in some new things this season. Other than that, everything is the same."

Dunlap says there is a simple formula for what he needs to do to be successful this season. "I need to go out and work hard every game, every day," he says.

Dunlap played at around 300 pounds as a sophomore. This spring he is bigger.

"I am about 315 now," he says. "I have put on a little weight. I notice a big difference and the guys on the field told me that I am not as easy to push around as I used to be. I can tell myself.

King Dunlap is shown at Auburn's first week of spring practice.

"The extra weight has really helped me out a lot. Coach Yox (Kevin Yoxall) and Coach (Joseph) Loscalzo in the the weight room have really helped me with lifting weights and eating right.

"I will probably be closer to 320 when the season starts," Dunlap adds. "Where I am right now is a good weight for me."

Nall says he believes the extra pounds are a good thing. "I don't think there is any doubt the extra size will help him this season along with having more knowledge with more snaps under his belt playing time-wise time," the line coach says. "I think that will help him a bunch."

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories