AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn wide receiver DeAngelo Benton has yet to catch a pass this season, prompting many to wonder if all the hubbub about the freshman’s talent was overblown.
Wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor says don’t give up hope yet.
“I promise you he will light the record books up,” Taylor said. “You can write that down, before he gets out of here, because he has that type of ability.”
Of Auburn’s four freshman receivers, Benton, a former five-star recruit who is two years removed from high school, has done the least this year. He’s had a number of chances to get that elusive first catch but has been plagued by a series of drops, including one at LSU.
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Taylor hasn’t seen the 6-foot-2, 192-pound receiver get down on himself.
“Not one bit of drop-off or change,” he said. “The big deal for him is the speed of the game coming back. His last game was two years ago in high school. Those things take a little time.
“What you don’t want to do is put him out there and him get overwhelmed and think he can’t play. The physical tools are there. Now we just have to get the mental side of it and the temperament part of it back.”
Running back Onterio McCalebb is still on the mend with an ankle injury, meaning H-back Mario Fannin might have a larger role as a tailback this week as a complement to starter Ben Tate.
Fannin, who has played a utility role all season, got six carries against LSU last week in a classic tailback role. He gained 56 yards.
“We envision that role expanding,” Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. “We’ll see how exactly the game unfolds. But certainly he’s prepared to do that.”