August 29, 2014

No. 2: Dismukes





Reese Dismukes
6-foot-3, 295 pounds, Senior

BUNKER rank BM rank AD rank JGT rank
2 6 3 2

Reese Dismukes is what's right with college football.

He arrived in 2011 as an overconfident kid who knew he'd likely start for the defending national champions. After falling short of his own standards for two years, however, Dismukes made a series of difficult, important personal adjustments that transformed him from good player to outstanding player.

He's never been better.

Dismukes begins his senior season as a nearly finished product. He vowed to become a leader during the spring of 2013 and exceeded everyone's expectations in terms of setting a tone. Nobody can attend an Auburn practice without hearing Dismukes' voice bellowing from within a group of offensive linemen. He barks instructions. He praises strong efforts. He criticizes performances that fall below his expectations.

Dismukes also isn't afraid to criticize himself, which is what real leaders do. He's demanding, but he holds himself to the same lofty standard.

That kind of thing matters. When the offensive line works each day against sleds and scout teamers and even the first-team defense, assistant coach J.B. Grimes can't be the only voice. Dismukes knows that. The importance of his leadership cannot be overstated.

As a player, of course, Dismukes is outstanding. Despite playing a physically demanding position, he's been unusually durable throughout his career. I believe staying healthy enough to perform is a skill in many ways and Dismukes has it.

He's an excellent center. Grimes said earlier this month that Dismukes' knowledge of strategy is sharper than any player he's ever coached, which is saying something considering Grimes' long career. Dismukes understands how to stick with defenders without leaning or allowing himself to drive out of position. He's quick to identify twists, run blitzes, slants and and other defensive ploys aimed at creating confusion in the 'A' and 'B' gaps.
- Jay G. Tate

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