Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country
Auburn's Jeremiah Dinson is someone who's familiar with injuries and the necessary rehabilitation process.

Auburn football: What to expect from Jeremiah Dinson in 2018 after spring shoulder injury

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What are the expectations for Jeremiah Dinson this fall?

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn’s top priority during its A-Day spring game was keeping its players healthy, and the Tigers nearly escaped the day unscathed.

Unfortunately, a couple of injuries were suffered, including one by Jeremiah Dinson. Shortly after the scrimmage, Gus Malzahn didn’t know much besides that the junior was dealing with a shoulder injury.

247Sports later reported that Dinson underwent a procedure on his right shoulder in the days that followed. Dinson is reportedly expected to return before the start of fall camp and shouldn’t miss any of the preseason.

While Dinson was an important player last year, a move to safety this spring had him on track to be an even more critical player for the Tigers in 2018. With the departures of Tray Matthews and Stephen Roberts, Auburn’s coaching staff was counting on Dinson, and they weren’t being quiet about it.

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“Every really good secondary that I’ve ever seen always had a point guy back there that could make sure and make the calls,” Malzahn said. “Especially nowadays with all the offenses with the motions and different formations, unbalanced formations, it really is critical that you have somebody on the back end that can get everybody on the same page. We believe Dinson can definitely do that.”

Still, the injury has left some wondering if Dinson’s role could be affected this fall, but the reality is it shouldn’t set back the Miami native much, if at all. This is one of those rare times where a player’s previous injury experience plays to his advantage.

Many remember Dinson making an impact as a freshman in 2015 before suffering a season-ending injury to his right knee in a game at Texas A&M. Yet after months of intense rehab, Dinson made a strong return in 2017. It was so strong, in fact, that defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said it was hard to tell the defensive back had missed substantial time.

First, the expectation is that since Dinson knows his way around the training room and understands what it takes to recover, he’ll be able to get healthy sooner. He won’t mess around with his rehab, and perhaps most importantly, he won’t get down mentally. Besides, after recovering from his severe knee injury, this seems to be comparatively minor.

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Second, Auburn needs Dinson to not just be a standout player in its secondary, but to lead its talented newcomers in Smoke Monday, Jamien Sherwood and Christian Tutt.

“Just from a big-picture standpoint, when you’re back there watching everything go, you can really tell the guys that are the leaders on both sides of the football and he really stands out just with his communication, his attitude,” Malzahn said earlier this spring. “He’s a guy that [a] coach can put at multiple positions. He’s like a coach on the field.”

The one main critique Matthews and Roberts left Dinson with was that he has to talk more. In his third season under Steele, Dinson must be a leader by example and vocally.

“I’m taking that [into] practice every day starting now,” Dinson said. “So in the fall it’s just second nature to me.”

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