Hand can 'plug and play' Golson anywhere on OL

Bryan Matthews, Senior Editor
Auburn Sports

AUBURN | Whether its center, guard or tackle, Austin Golson is ready and willing.

Auburn’s returning starter at center has already played just about every position along the offensive line during his college career.

“Whatever is going to make the team best,” Golson said. “It doesn’t matter where. As long as we’re winning I’ll play wherever.”

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Wade Rackley/Auburn athletics

Golson was the Tigers’ starting center in 2015, but began the 2016 season as the starting left tackle before moving back to center for the final nine games.

He played guard as a true freshman at Ole Miss in 2013 and worked at right tackle the following spring before transferring to Auburn.

This spring, Golson primarily worked at center, but also got work at left guard.

“Austin is a guy that could really play all five positions,” offensive line coach Herb Hand said. “He started at guard at Ole Miss, played tackle and center here so he’s a plug and play guy.”

A veteran of 24 career SEC starts, Golson is a lock to be one of Auburn’s five offensive line starters as long as he’s healthy. Where he plays could depend on the development of graduate transfer Casey Dunn this spring.

Dunn, an All-American center at Jacksonville State, is expected to join the team this summer. He was listed as 6-foot-3 and 290 pounds on the Gamecocks’ 2016 roster.

“We'll put (Dunn) in there at center, that's where he's played, and see what he can do. I'm excited about him,” Hand said. “Anytime you can get a guy that's got that type of experience and has excelled at it, he's going to be a nice addition.

“He's going to be a good fit with our guys too from a chemistry standpoint -- his demeanor, his approach, his whole deal. I'm excited about getting him here. Once we get him here, we'll figure it out.”

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