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It's been 'a crazy ride' for Auburn seniors
Nov. 19, 2014

Seniors Nick Marshall, Reese Dismukes are in the middle of Auburn's offense

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. Reese Dismukes played in a national championship game and went through a season that didn't produce a conference win.

Now, the player who has started more games than any on the Auburn roster will play his final game in Jordan-Hare Stadium when the Tigers meet Samford at 6 p.m. Saturday.

"I really haven't looked at it, but down the road, I'm sure I'll look back on it and be like, 'That was a crazy ride,'" Dismukes said.

He's been recognized as one of the nation's top centers for three years, showing up on various national award lists. He played in the BCS title game last year, went through a 3-9 season the year before, and has been part of a team that can win its 20th game in the last two years Saturday.

Now, he and 19 other seniors will play their final home game. Seven walk-ons who are underclassmen will move on as well.

Nobody has started more games than Dismukes' 47. Nobody has played in more games than the 49 of Angelo Blackson, Jonathon Mincy, Chad Slade and Gabe Wright.

"It's a real special group," said coach Gus Malzahn. "If you think back to two years ago with everything they went through, they were able to overcome those things and help lead us to the national championship game last year. And do a solid job up to this point. They're just a real special group that provided a lot of good leadership. We're relying on them the next two games, too, to finish this thing strong.

"Our seniors are very excited about playing their last home game here at home, and I know their families are, too."

Dismukes has seen it all.

"At times I'll catch myself like, 'Man, we were 3-9 and now we have a chance to …' you know, do what we've done over the past two years.

"It's crazy that it’s all coming to an end. I have spent a lot of great Saturdays over there, some good and some bad. It should be one good last ride. I’m looking forward to it."

Dismukes said he's using his experience to keep the younger players on track and to ignore any criticism.

"Right now, it’s just letting our young guys know not to listen to any of that," Dismukes said. "We’ve been in the worst of the worst of those types of situations. There are a lot of people out there that are going to talk and don’t know anything about anything. It’s all opinionated and you have to keep these young guys locked in that we still have a lot to play for. There is a lot still on the line. None of that outside stuff really matters."

The other Auburn seniors on scholarship  some four-year players, some five-year players and some junior college transfers  are Cameron Artis-Payne, Ben Bradly, Quan Bray, Brandon Fulse, Corey Grant, Forrest Hill, Brandon King, Nick Marshall, LaDarius Owens, Trovon Reed, Robenson Therezie, C.J. Uzomah, Jeff Whitaker and Jermaine Whitehead.

The others in Jordan-Hare for the last time will be Niko Anthony, Wirth Campbell, Ben Durand, Alex Kviklys, Mack VanGorder, Brian Walsh, Andrew Williams and Patrick Young.

Malzahn, then Auburn's offensive coordinator, knew many of them from the beginning.

"Most of those guys I recruited specifically for this offense. They're very good people. They've represented us the right way," he said.

"This is a very good group of seniors that’s done a lot of great things for Auburn, so I'm really hoping our fans will show up, be loud and send these guys off on the right track."

Charles Goldberg is a Senor Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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