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The Daily Tar Heel

Austin checks in to discuss life at the bottom of the pile

Defensive tackle Marvin Austin is one of the biggest personalities on North Carolina’s football team in addition to being one of the team’s biggest bodies.

The junior lineman, who already has been projected to be a force in the NFL by draft experts, chatted with SportSaturday Editor David Reynolds about a variety of topics, including dancing, dreadlocks and music.

David Reynolds: Every game you do a little dance on the field beforehand. Do you have a name for that?

Marvin Austin It’s actually called jiggin’. That’s the name of the dancing. Or swag surfing. D-Town Boogie. A couple different names for it.

DR: It looks like it’s just you right now. Has anybody else requested to get out there with you?

MA: G. Little — he can jig. You got a number of guys. KB (Kendric Burney) does a little jig every now and then before a game. It’s something that’s a little fun. I love to dance. That’s why you always see me doing it. Getting me ready for the game.

DR: Has any lineman tried to grab you by the dreadlocks?

MA: Actually not this year, but last year in the Notre Dame game. Now that it’s in a ponytail it’s harder to get to. That’s why I put it in a ponytail.

DR: So how badly does it hurt to have your ponytail pulled?

MA: It hurts like hell. But it hasn’t happened this year, so it’s been fairly good.

DR: Imagine a fumble and a big pile. What sort of stuff goes down?

MA: It can get ugly. I don’t know if you’ve read my Facebook status, but you might want to go check it out right now. It’ll be up for a little while. It gets ugly. I’m down there trying to get the ball. I’m going to do what I’ve got to do. I’m not going to disclose what goes on down there because I’d like to keep playing football. I don’t want to be like Brandon Spikes. It gets nasty. It’s not the nicest of things. For me it doesn’t really matter, for a ball carrier, it’s not the funnest place to be. It’s not Disneyland.

DR: I know you have to do a lot of running around the field. How hard is it to keep on the weight you have?

MA: It’s not hard for me. It’s actually harder to keep the weight off. And the weight doesn’t matter. It’s about being quick and fast, playing with power. I’m just big by nature. Linemen, we’re big by nature. If I could be 280 pounds and still play, I would.

DR: How many meals do you eat per day?

MA: Probably three. I probably should be eating five, six small meals. Get lunch. Then you eat dinner here. Then I eat something before I lie down.

DR: I’ve heard defensive lineman go to Cluck-U on all-you-can-eat night. Does that still happen?

MA: We used to make moves to Cluck-U. We tried to tone that down to keep our weight down. We got a lot heavier than we needed to be to play the way coach wanted us to play.

DR: How else do you build up camaraderie? You guys seem like a tight unit.

MA: We love each other. We’re like brothers. We see someone doing something they shouldn’t be doing, we get on them. It’s just like they’re my brothers. We see each other.

We’re always together. If you catch one of us, you might catch two or three of us. Like you said, a brotherhood.

DR: I see you have your headphones on. What have you been listening to?

MA: I’ve been listening to “No Ceilings,” the mixed tape by Lil’ Wayne. I’ve got Jay-Z’s album “The Blueprint 3.” Got a little jazz in here. Of course, Rick Ross’ “In Cold Blood.” A little bit to get me going and get me ready for the task at hand.

DR: What’s one thing about Marvin Austin people wouldn’t expect to know?

MA: Probably that I enjoy music just as much as I enjoy football. Probably even more.

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