February 14, 2007

Dunn has a lot to work with at d-tackle

Talent, depth and experience.

If you're a position coach those are the three main ingredients you'd like to have every year. It usually doesn't work out that way but for Auburn defensive tackle coach Don Dunn, 2007 appears to be his year.

The Tigers return both starters plus the top three backups in the playing rotation from last season. Sophomore defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks is one of the SEC's top underclassmen after starting all 13 games as a freshman last year while his backup, junior Pat Sims, has finally begun to play up to his potential on the field.

At noseguard, senior Josh Thompson returns as a starter and will be backed up by another senior in Tez Doolittle. Behind those four will be sophomore Jermarcus Ricks, who was one of only two freshmen that didn't redshirt last season, redshirt freshman Mike Blanc and junior Greg Smith.

Dunn expects the competition to be fierce when spring practice gets underway in two weeks.

"We've got a pretty good group," said Dunn. "The competition makes you work and makes you better."

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