Auburn spring questions: Taking stock of the Tigers' backfield

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 18, 2014 

With Heisman finalist Tre Mason gone, senior Corey Grant (above) will look to establish himself at the top of Auburn's running back depth chart.

TODD VAN EMST — Auburn University

Auburn's spring practice starts March 18. But as with any team, the Tigers have questions they'll try to answer in various areas. In that vein, beat writer Ryan Black has come up with 10 queries, looking at position battles, individual players and everything in between. The series continues with the Tigers' running backs.

What will the running back position look like post-Tre Mason?

It's a good bet no one will match Mason's numbers last season by himself. But there's no reason they can't get there as a group. During the spring, seniors Cameron Artist-Payne and Corey Grant will tussle with Peyton Barber.

Malzahn said Monday he wouldn't be worried if they exit the spring without one running back alone at the top of the depth chart. After all, Mason, Artis-Payne and Grant all entered last fall as co-Nos. 1 at the position.

The coach thinks it could be the same kind of situation this year: Little separation to begin with before one player separates himself from the rest.

"Usually what happens in the course of the year one guy kind of steps up like Tre did last year," he said, "but the great thing about us or this situation is we've got a lot of guys we feel comfortable with."

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service