Another Year, Another Position For Fannin

Mario Fannin talks with Inside the Auburn Tigers about his new role in the new system.

Auburn, Ala.--The Mario Fannin merry-go-round has been in service for the last four years, taking him to a different position on the field on an annual basis. A quarterback at Lovejoy, Ga., High School, he practiced at receiver during a redshirt year in 2006 before seemingly finding a home at tailback last season. However, the transition from Al Borges to Tony Franklin resulted in Fannin's fourth position in as many years, this type as an H back.

"I can split out at wide out or I can play a little tailback," Fannin states. "There are different types of calls where that happens. Basically it's just a hybrid position.

"It's a great position," he adds. "The coaches trust me in that position and I'm a team guy. They told me that they wanted me there and to just play it to the best ability that I can. The coaches trust me there so it's basically just learning it and getting out there every day and just working hard."

Fannin excelled at his new position in the Chick-fil-A Bowl victory.

Fannin had an opportunity early in his freshman year to show what he could do with the ball in his hands, but unfortunately he laid it on the turf too many times and was limited in touches late in the season. He finished the regular season with 81 carries for 430 yards and five scores, and added three more carries for 18 yards at his new H position in the bowl win over Clemson.

Franklin also found a way to get him the ball in the passing game. He caught just 13 balls for 123 yards and a score during the regular season, but had five for 53 and a score in the first game in his new role.

"It doesn't matter to me," he jokes about all of the different positions. "I'm just going to play it to the best of my ability and just get after it out there. It's just whatever the coaches want to do and wherever they put me."

Fannin will be lined up all over the field in his new role, whether it's out wide, in the slot or in the backfield, but his primary role will be in the slot, a key part of Franklin's system.

The first practice of the spring on Sunday was in perfect whether conditions and the offense showed a fast tempo going through drill after drill. However, Tuesday morning's session was limited indoors with heavy showers in the Auburn area.

"This is a fast-paced offense and it's something that the coaches harp on us about," Fannin says. "They stay on us a lot about getting after it and just keeping a high-octane you've got to practice fast. When you practice fast it shows up in the game."

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