July 23, 2008

Fannin moving to outside receiver

Mario Fannin has been a bit of a football vagabond.

A high school quarterback, Fannin was signed by Auburn as a running back, finishing third on the team with 448 rushing yards last season. But AU's new spread offense found Fannin working at slot receiver in the bowl game and the start of spring ball.

When two-a-days get started Aug. 2, however, the sophomore will be split out at wide receiver. Coming off of shoulder surgery in the spring, Fannin doesn't seem at all concerned about the move.

"I just want the ball in my hands so I can help my teammates out as much as possible," Fannin said earlier this summer.

According to receivers coach Greg Knox, the move to outside receiver will give Fannin more opportunities for big plays. One of AU's most explosive playmakers, Fannin will likely be used in a variety of ways this fall.

"Moving him outside gives us a chance to get the ball in his hands on the perimeter, out in space," said Knox. "He can break some tackles, make some guys miss, and make big plays for us.

"Just having him out there is a tremendous advantage. We can motion him and move him all over the place."

Fannin will work at the 'X' receiver position along with James Swinton, Quindarius Carr, Chris Slaughter and true freshman Philip Pierre-Louis.

A big spring allowed Swinton to win the starting job but the senior still has a lot to prove after catching just one pass in each of the last three seasons.

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