War Eagle Extra

Stanton Truitt announces Auburn departure in emotional social media post

Auburn running back Stanton Truitt carries the ball against Clemson Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn running back Stanton Truitt carries the ball against Clemson Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Stanton Truitt never found the role he was looking for on the Plains.

The wide receiver turned running back now plans on looking elsewhere for a true opportunity.

Truitt announced his decision to transfer with an emotional note on Twitter a day after Auburn’s 35-19 loss to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. The third-year sophomore played in the game, but didn’t register any touches.

“I want to thank Auburn for everything it has done for me,” Truitt wrote. “I will always be apart (sic) of the Auburn family. Im blessed to have a degree and got to experience the best fans in college football. Although it’s unfortunate I was not able to show all my talents I have to offer, I promise I enjoyed the many memories with you all and I truly mean that. Ive decided for my last two years of college football i’m going to transfer.”

Truitt went on to thank his teammates and his most recent position coach Tim Horton, who gave the Georgia native chance “when things were tough.”

“I hope I’m not letting any of the fans down by doing what I feel is best for me and my family,” Truitt said. “I will always be a tiger and nothing can change that. I cant wait to start my new journey and see where 2017 takes me. Thank you all for everything!”

The 5-foot-9, 185-pounder came into the season with three career catches for 26 yards. He battled multiple shoulder injuries the first two years he was on campus.

The little used receiver was converted to running back a month into the 2016 season to give Auburn added depth at the position following the surprise departures of Jovon Robinson and Roc Thomas.

Truitt finished the season with 31 carries for 187 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught seven passes for 100 yards with a touchdown.

The coaching staff continually praised the way Truitt adapted to the new position as quickly as he did.

“It’s just kind of a progression for him,” Lashlee said earlier this season. “He did basically that in high school running back and quarterback stuff. He’s got running back skills. He’s really thick and compact for a shorter guy. I think sometimes guys on the other side underestimate, one, how fast and quick he is, and two, how powerful he is. He’s a weapon.”

Truitt had a career game against Arkansas — eight carries for 78 yards, one catch for 45 yards with three total touchdowns — but never got back into the rotation after an ankle injury late in the season to Georgia.

Fellow Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson pleaded with Truitt on social media to “don’t leave me family.”

Truitt was a well-liked presence in the backfield from the minute he stepped into the group’s meeting room.

“I know he was struggling a little bit, not being able to play much, contributing as much in the beginning of the season,” Chandler Cox said in early November. “To have them put him at running back has really helped him a lot. He has so much talent it's ridiculous. It's fun to watch with the speed he has. Sometimes I'm going to block for him and he beats me to my guy. I'm like, 'Just follow me. I'm trying to go fast.' He's a special player and even a better kid.”

Michael Niziolek: 334-332-8572, @wareagleextra