Big Oscar Gets Work With the Ones

Oscar Gonzalez

Auburn, Ala.--A big question going into the 2007 season is who will be the starting right offensive tackle for the Auburn football team.

Sophomore Andrew McCain was running number one at the position at the conclusion of spring drills with junior Antwoin Daniels, who began the spring number one, as the second stringer.f

Offensive line coach Hugh Nall notes that redshirt freshman Mike Berry, who also plays center and guard, is a possibility at the position, too.

Another potential right tackle had his first practice on Thursday. Lee Ziemba, a 6-8, 297 true freshman who was a Parade All-American at Rogers High School in Arkansas, is another guy in the mix.

However, when the Tigers lined up for spirited 11 on 11 team drills on Sunday evening, redshirt sophomore Oscar Gonzalez was working with the first team offense.

"He (Nall) told me to go with the first (unit) for the team drill, but nothing is official yet," Gonzalez says. "I am working on making it official."

Since he arrived at Auburn from Hieleah, Fla., High, Gonzalez has played left tackle. He had been working as the second stringer there behind senior King Dunlap going back to spring training. However, that changed on Sunday.

"It's different playing right tackle," notes the 6-7, 296-pounder, who was limited last season when he broke a bone in his toe in a practice field fight. "If I have got to fight, I have got to fight," he says. "I will just try to keep my toe out of the way."

Oscar Gonzalez (78) runs a drill with fellow redshirt sophomore Gabe McKenzie (83), who plays tight end.

Gonzalez came in with a lot of promise as a lineman, but says he knew he may have to wait his turn. "When I came in Marcus McNeill was still here and Troy Reddick was on the other side. I knew I wasn't going to start so there was no doubt in my head about that. I was just trying to get better. It took me a while, but I am trying to get there now."

Gonzalez and the Tigers will put the full pads on for the first time on Monday morning.

2007 Auburn Football Guide

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