New Position Nothing New For Mario

Mario Fannin discusses the health of his shoulder and learning a new role in the Tigers' first day of fall camp.

Auburn, Ala.—Offensive skill player Mario Fannin has changed positions on the Auburn football team countless times since his arrival in 2006.

In Tony Franklin's spread offense, Fannin started out as an ‘H,' which is a slot receiver. He also motioned into the backfield on occasion for carries in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. However, Fannin separated his left shoulder in the first scrimmage of the spring, had surgery shortly thereafter and lined up at a new spot in the first day of preseason practice.

"I played more outside (at ‘X')," Fannin says, "just learning the routes, trying to work on my technique in order to get off the ball in press and know what to do when I'm in zone–stuff like that."

Fannin runs after the catch on Saturday.

Fannin played quarterback at Lovejoy High School and was used in that role some on the scout team in 2006. He also experimented at receiver prior to becoming a tailback for 2007 and was the team's third leading rusher. Fannin moved to the slot in December and is now an outside receiver. However, he could be used at several positions depending on the health of his shoulder.

"The coaches will decide. Whatever they tell me is what I'll do," Fannin says of playing multiple roles.

Built like an NFL tailback, Fannin could pose matchup problem for smaller corners at the ‘X' position if he gets the ball in space. "The coaches believe it could be (a mismatch) just because I'm more physical," he says.

As for his shoulder, Fannin says it felt fine on the first day. However, he was the only player in shoulder pads.

"It's a little hotter, but it's extra precaution they're taking for my shoulder," he explains. "Overall it feels real good. I caught some passes up high and down low and there was nothing wrong. The flexibility is coming along great. I caught some balls that I had to stretch for. The brace is kind of restricting, but everything is going good with it.

"It feels great," Fannin adds. "With the heat and everything I just blocked it out and I was happy that I was out there. I'm blessed that I've got another opportunity to get back out there and play with my teammates, just to get out there and catch the ball again. It's been a long time.

"I didn't feel any pain or anything and it's coming along great."

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