Auburn, Ala.--Senior Mario Fannin, who is making a move from H-back/tailback/wide receiver to full-time tailback this season for the Auburn football team, is featured in a question and answer session with Inside the Auburn Tigers.
Who is your favorite athlete? Who would you pay money to watch play?
“It would have to be L.T. (LaDanian Tomlinson). He works hard and he’s a guy that is shifty but also a smooth runner. I just like his playing style.”
As a running back is it all about admiring the things he’s done?
“He’s a guy that can run and cut. He’s just a good back all the way around. He will pass block. He’s one of those guys that you’ll see in the league for a long time.”
Who is the best player you’ve played against since you’ve been at Auburn?
“If we’re not talking about just defensive guys then I’m going to have to say Percy Harvin. He’s explosive, real explosive. I remember the Florida game he was doing a ‘7’ cut and broke out of it full speed. He was pretty good. He was amazing to watch.”
What is your favorite road trip or road stadium? What is the place you enjoyed the most?
“That would be Florida in my freshman year. It was just the fact that it was a night game in the Swamp. They talk about it when you get recruited by them how much other teams are intimidated by night games there. It was the other way around for us. It was a big game for us. Playing against coach (Stan) Drayton and coach (Urban) Meyer and being able to win was big.”
Any significance to your jersey number? Any reason why you wear number 27?
“I got number 27 mainly because my baseball number was 26 and in football I always wanted 27, but I had always worn number 5. I couldn’t get number five when I got here. All they had were 23 and 24. I didn’t really want them because of Cadillac (Carnell Williams) and Ronnie (Brown). Tristan (Davis) was like ‘just get my old number.’ I got his old number and at first I didn’t even like it. I didn’t think it looked right on me. At the end of the day my mom told me I would make a name for the jersey. Hopefully, I will and I kind of already have I guess.”
Is it fun to think about having the opportunity attach yourself to the number 27?
“I know it’s a blessing to be able to have that chance. It’s crazy because I never imagined seeing my jersey in a store or anything like that. God blesses us.”
Who is your most talented teammate whether it’s singing, being a comedian, etc.?
“Can I give you three? Make that four. Musically I would say Dee Ford and A.J. Greene. Athletically I would have to say Nick Fairley because to be that big he can really run. I would also say Cam Newton. He’s just such a hard worker. He’ll be out there throwing into trash cans if he has to on a Saturday.”
Is there anyone that is a comedian because Josh Bynes mentioned Michael Goggans?
“Michael Goggans is up there. It’s between Michael Goggans and Mike Blanc. It’s between those two. The next time you talk to him get him to do an impression for you.”
What is it about this coaching staff that allowed them to make such a big impact in just one season?
“It’s just their energy. You have guys like Coach Trooper (Taylor) jumping around and getting you hyped for practice. He just makes practice fun. That’s something we didn’t have around here. When we practiced it was just another day for us. Now we go out to practice knowing we’ve got to work hard, but at the same time knowing we’ll have fun doing it and we’re going to get the job done. It’s just the energy they bring and the way they are with us. They accept us into their offices any time of the day. They talk with us and chill with us like we’re their sons. That’s the biggest thing is having that family group.”
What is the one game you want to win more than any other?
“I’m going to have to give you two. It’s definitely Georgia and Alabama. Georgia is because I’m from Georgia and ever since I’ve been here we have not beaten Georgia. Alabama is because of the past two years. That has put a bad taste in my mouth.”
Georgia was obvious because when you grow up in a state you want to beat them but how much do you learn and how quickly does the Alabama rivalry take hold?
“It really hit home for me when I took my official visit for the Iron Bowl. I was already committed but that’s when it started. I knew this is where I wanted to play. Since I’ve been here it has been the same thing. That game is when you know what kind of player you are because you’re going to compete until you can’t walk off the field. It’s something that we understand we have to do and the job is going to get done this year.”
What is your favorite Auburn memory to this point? When you think about Auburn what comes to mind?
“I guess it would be scoring my first touchdown of my college career against South Florida. I was so nervous. I was scared. I couldn’t even see the end zone I was just running. After I scored I knew it was really the beginning of my college career. I’ll never forget it. Hopefully, I’ll be able to top that this year.”
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