Four years apart, D.J. Fluker and DalvinTomlinson both won collegiate national championships at Alabama.
Now , the duo, on opposite sides of the bill, will seek to win a NFC East title and beyond for the Giants.
Both recently have been involved on different levels in training camp battles for playing time, one more significant than the other.
Fluker, who the Giants signed as a free agent after his four-year stint as the LA Chargers top pick in 203 fizzled, has been embroiled in a high-profile battle for the right guard position with incumbent John Jerry and Brett Jones.
It has been an evolving situation for Fluker and his teammates, as the scrutinized Giants’ O-Line has been considered to be the underlining factor for one of the team’s projected successes this season, maintaining a consistent running game.
Fluker, who previously has been under the spotlight, has tried to keep the situation in a proper perspective. He can provide some versatility, as he has played at the tackles positions.
He also realizes his job could be on the bubble.
“I just wait until my number’s called,” said the mammoth 6-5, 345-pound Fluker . “I do my job to the best of my ability,” he said. “I’m just being patient. Be patient on it and it’s going to come. That’s all I can do.
“I’ve learned a lot here and I know I can contribute.”
Head coach Ben McAdoo has been noncommittal on the status of the line and will let the final results sort themselves out.
“When we get to the first regular season game, we’re going to put the best group out there that we feel can help us win,” said McAdoo.
Tomlinson’s case has taken a different spin.
The team’s top pick has made his case for plenty of playing time this season, and he likely will lineup alongside “Snacks” Harrison at a defensive tackle spot in the team’s opener against Dallas.
Starter Jay Bromley suffered a knee injury and his practice status is uncertain for next week.
McAdoo is concerned about handing over the reins to Tomlinson.
“He’s a player that’s played at a tremendous level in the college game,” said McAdoo about the 6-3, 317-pound Tomlinson. “He’s come in, he’s learned the system very well. He’s good with his hands, he plays with leverage, he destroys blocks. We feel he’ll be ready to play Week One.”
For Tomlinson, it has been a fast track since winning the national championship at Alabama. He credited Harrison for taking him under his wing and helping him learn the playbook and learning how to prepare.
“It’s hard to believe,” said Tomlinson. “It feels like yesterday I was just playing in the national championship game. It came pretty quick.”
“I’ve seen some impressive stuff on tape,” said linebacker Jonathan Casillas about Tomlinson. “So I think for him to play for us, I think we’re all ready for him to play. From what I’ve seen so far, he’s very strong, he’s very physical, and we’re going to need that play from him.”