Meet Tunde Fariyike. He’s a redshirt sophomore that is a well-spoken, level-headed, and smart young man. Oh, is he smart. By the way, he’s also the Auburn football team’s new starting center.
It was announced Sunday afternoon that Fariyike would take over for indefinitely suspended Reese Dismukes, and the new No. 1 guy was humbled. He provides the character that Coach Gene Chizik silently–and I do mean silently–was looking for after Dismukes’ suspension was made public.
The difference between Dismukes and Fariyike is day and night. Dismukes’ second arrest for public intoxication–his first coming his senior year in high school–was something that was bound to happen, in hindsight, of course. On the other hand, Fariyike is studying to be a doctor and almost attended Duke University.
The wiz kid has been given full support from coaches, teammates and fans alike. And why shouldn’t he? While the 19-year-old Dismukes spent his night eight days before the Tigers’ opener vs. Clemson at local bars, Fariyike is busy working on time management between football and his studies.
The only downside to Fariyike is no one can figure out how to pronounce his last name. Oh, and he’s inexperienced after only playing in one game last season that was against Ole Miss, which almost doesn’t count.
With senior John Sullen and sophomore Chad Slade on each side of him, No. 65 should be fine Saturday, but will most likely not play as well as Dismukes would have performed. Although, as Pat Dye said Monday morning, it is what it is.
Fariyike’s new starting positions only further proves Chizik will suspend any player he feels should be punished, something most coaches in the country would not do. With integrity in place at Auburn, Fariyike will get his first collegiate start Saturday, and the entire Auburn Family will be supporting him in style.