Freshman Fannin Finding A Home

Incoming freshman Mario Fannin will be an interesting player to watch during summer practices. Physically he looks like an upperclassman and he will get his first shot at tailback for the Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--The wildcard of the 2006 freshman class of the Auburn football team is athlete Mario Fannin.

Checking in at a lean 5-11 and 214 pounds, he could play tailback, receiver, safety and a number of spots on special teams for the Tigers. At Lovejoy, Ga., High School, Fannin played quarterback.

"Honestly, I have no idea," Fannin says of where he will end up. "I came here as an athlete. It's wherever the coaches feel as though I can help the team."

The early projection for Fannin is at tailback, where the Tigers are loaded with talent and experience from runners like Kenny Irons, Brad Lester, Tre Smith and Carl Stewart.

"I believe it'll be somewhere on the special teams and/or running back," Fannin adds.

Coming in early this summer, Fannin was able to get his feet wet in the life of a student/athlete. He took classes this summer in public speaking and some computer classes, and also got to work with strength and conditioning coach Kevin Yoxall.

"Summer workouts helped me get in shape a lot running those 110 (yard dashes) in the heat," Fannin says. "It's going to help me. We recently got out of the step program, which showed us the academic side of life here at Auburn University. I learned a lot from that.

"Coach Yox could probably do the same workouts we're doing," he adds. "I've seen him do some of the same workouts we're doing. They're very strenuous and I can't lie about that. That's going to get us better and help us."

While Fannin has the possibility of playing many positions, whether he redshirts or not will likely depend on what position he plays and where he could help the team.

Fannin is majoring in physical therapy and says he has big-time goals set for himself during the next four or five years at Auburn.

"From the help of Coach (Eddie) Gran I could see myself in the top round of the NFL draft with my own physical therapy clinic," he says.


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