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.
Never miss a local story.
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."