Tuesday night I had the opportunity to hear Auburn offensive line coach Hugh Nall speak to the local Auburn Club. I have to say that I wasn't expecting much when I attended.
Nall was asked to compare tackle King Dunlap to former Tiger and current San Diego Charger Marcus McNeill. He said that Dunlap had a chance to play in the NFL, but had to get tougher.
He said that Dunlap was a better athlete (believe it or not) than McNeill but wasn't yet as tough as McNeill. He told the story of when McNeill broke his hand against Georgia a few years back and refused to tell the trainers so he could continue to play. McNeill finished the game.
Dunlap is not there yet according to Nall. "King just decided about 18 months ago that he wanted to be a football player, he said."He still had visions of playing in the NBA. He now realizes that he can play in the NFL."
Talking about the backfield, Nall echoed what many have been saying since the spring, that Mario Fanin has a chance to be special. Fanin is inching up a very talented depth chart and could find himself at the top by season's end.
Nall defended his offense and its 30+ sacks it gave up a year ago. Quarterback Brandon Cox's injuries and lack of mobility contributed to the sack total he said. He did go out of his way to praise Cox and said that he was very impressed with his toughness last season.
Nall says that Cole Bennett should be back to his old self as practice gets underway next week. Look for more play action passes now that Bennett is back in uniform.