Warren Warming To Offensive Tackle Role

Just a year ago he was continuing to develop as a tight end. Now Rufus Warren is still at one end of the offensive line, but as a full-time blocker. In spring the junior was moved a step closer to the action where he can compete for a job at offensive tackle.

Naturally the transition was a bit sputtery at times during spring camp, but by the end of that session Warren was showing some positive signs. Now in two weeks of preseason work he believes he is getting up to speed as a tackle. Up to size, too, as changing jobs and giving up pass patterns means he can bulk up. To 295 pounds as of now, in fact.

Warren spoke briefly with media Sunday afternoon following the day’s squad meeting, and before adding some more tasty ounces the annual August Beefin’ Up The Bulldogs steak dinner.

How has your development at offensive tackle gone? “Coach Hevesy is a great coach, it’s just trying to learn the offense, learn the offensive alignments and different things from playing tight end. And I’ve got the leadership of Blaine (Clausell) and Dillon (Day to help me out. So it’s working out pretty good.”

How have you made the transition? “It’s been going good. I’ve been playing left and right tackle, just to get used to going both positions so far it’s just a technique thing. I’m trying to get the technique down and the calls down because it’s different from tight end.”

Is it difficult to learn with the ‘steps’ being so different from tight end? “It’s easy because I don’t have to run 15-yard routes any more! That’s the easy part! But as far as pass set and run set and stuff like that it’s nothing complicated, it’s just me getting used to it.”

Do you miss being an eligible receiver? “Sometimes! Sometimes! But in practice when somebody scores the touchdown I’m just as happy to be blocking for them to catch that touchdown. I’d love to catch that touchdown, don’t get me wrong!”<.p>

How much do you enjoy being free to eat? “Oh, the green light has been on for me to eat whatever I want to eat. When I was at tight end it was salads here, granola bars there. Now it’s whatever I want to eat.”

How is the competition at right tackle? “We go hard every day. Every day we come with the mindset that we’re going to get each other better. And no matter who starts on August 30, the ones and twos, we’re going to be just as good.”

How would you compare this team’s depth on the line to last year? “We have a lot of experience. A lot of guys on the offensive line have played in games, and me coming from tight end I played in games. So we have a lot of experience, which brings good chemistry on the o-line.”

Gene's Page Top Stories