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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Keys to Success: Running Backs

Artwork by Lance Curry. Visit http://www.wareagleart.com/ for more 
 Auburn has been known as Running Back University for a long time. Many great Running Backs have run to college football glory in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Names such as Tucker Fredrickson, Joe Cribbs, James Brooks, Bo Jackson, Carnell Williams, Ronnie Brown, Ben Tate, Stephen Davis, and Rudi Johnson are but a few of the men who have excelled at this position while wearing the Orange and Navy Blue.

 I start this post with the previous statements because we Auburn fans hold the position of Running Back in high regard. Many schools wonder who their starting quarterback might be, when on the Plains, we hold in high esteem the man that leads the team on the ground. In the new era of Auburn football, the QB will play a much more important role, but today we look at who has the title of starter at Running Back U. 

 Auburn returns the tried and true talents of Tre Mason. That is it. Tre Mason has the distinct honor of being the lone bright spot in an otherwise dismal offense from the 2012 campaign. The only other player returning is Corey Grant, who was injured for most of the previous season. 

 Tre Mason led all RB's last season with 1038 yards on 171 attempts with a 5.9 yard average per carry. Corey Grant had 9 carries for 30 yards and a 3.2 YPC average. Reason number one why the new coaching staff put so much emphasis on recruiting top quality RB's from anywhere they could find them.

 Enter the number one rated JUCO RB Cameron Artis-Payne. A very mature and much needed addition, Artis-Payne can step in immediately, and give a much needed boost to a depleted position on a team that will be running at break-neck speeds in 2013.


 Gus Malzahn also successfully recruited two other fine RB's out of high school who had committed to other SEC teams. Johnathan Ford, and Peyton Barber will also have great opportunities to get some playing time. It has also been rumored on twitter that Jovon Robinson was enrolled in classes, and he wants to be part of the football team. Take it for what it's worth. The position now has some much needed depth. 

WAR EAGLE!
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