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July 10, 2012- -
Reese Dismukes didn't hesitate to answer whether his second summer workout regime was easier than the first.
The sophomore center kept it simple.
In fact, Dismukes said, it's quite the opposite.
"I've heard from three or four of the older guys and they said they've been here for three years and this has by far been the hardest summer they've been through," said Dismukes. "We have been doing a lot of running and working out."
And not having to worry about where and when has been an asset. Auburn's new indoor and practice facilities were still under construction a year ago.
"We had to designate which day we would run and lift, but we have more access to the indoor this year and we can run any day," he said. "We have been getting after it. We have a different mindset. A lot of the guys in my class have been through a season and know what it takes to play at this level, which is the highest level in college football.
"You have to get after it, and I think everyone has been doing that and getting prepared for the season."
The work has already paid off for Dismukes, who started all 13 games in 2011 as a true freshman. Dismukes said he has lost body fat, readjusted some weight, and sits at 290 pounds just weeks before two-a-days begin.
"I'm running pretty good, and I will be playing at around 295-300 pounds this season," said Dismukes. "I feel a lot better. I have dropped my body fat 5% down to 27%. I can move a lot better and I feel like I'm in better shape."
Dismukes said he has seen the entire offensive line improve during the summer. That includes the seven freshmen from the 2012 signing class as well as the handful of upperclassmen. Although some linemen have their personal goals regarding their weight and conditioning, the group, Dismukes said, has one common goal.
"Our expectations haven't changed, and that is to be the toughest five in the country, to be the best o-line in the country," said Dismukes. "And that isn't going to change. That is how my mindset is and how the entire line is. That is the standard (offensive line) coach (Jeff) Grimes has set, and that is the standard we are going to try and uphold."
Dismukes has seen several new faces this summer including the seven signees: Patrick Miller, Shane Callahan, Avery Young, Will Adams, Robert Leff, Alex Kozan and Jordan Diamond. The addition of the five has been welcomed, and will continue to be throughout the season. Miller and Callahan, like Dismukes last year, enrolled at Auburn early and went through spring practice.
"It's good to have depth. Last year, you didn't know who was going to come in if you went down," he said. "You were playing with duct tape strapped to you, taping you together. It's good to know there are people behind you that can help out.
"Miller and Callahan have been doing really good. They might be ahead of where I was a year ago. They've gained a lot of weight and that is something they needed to do. They have been doing a really good job."
Dismukes said he has been keeping an eye on the younger linemen, but is looking more towards a specific date. The Tigers open the season Sept. 1 in Atlanta against Clemson.
"I'm ready for Sept. 1. I can tell you that," said Dismukes. "I'm ready to be in the Georgia Dome, put on that 'AU', step on that field and go.
"I'm ready to go."