Editor’s note: We are counting down the days until Auburn opens the season against Clemson on Sept. 3 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Check back every morning as we break down the roster, profile key players and look at unanswered questions coming out of training camp.
Chandler Cox may not send fear into the heart of opposing defenders when he lines up in the backfield, but that’s before he crashes into them at full speed.
The fullback is considered by most to be the toughest player on the team.
“He loves the physical part of the game,” Malzahn said. “He’s kind of a throwback. He’s kind of an old-school guy.”
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The 6-foot-1, 236-poundeer started 10 games last season. He didn’t carry the ball, but caught a 6-yard pass against Jacksonville State.
Auburn coaches are so confident in Cox they felt comfortable enough moving fellow fullback Kamryn Pettway over to running back full time.
“Chandler Cox is just a stud,” Lashlee said.
Cox has set a standard in Auburn’s locker room this offseason with players rallying behind what Lashlee described as the fullback’s “contagious” energy.
“Chandler Cox has no bad,” Malzahn said. “He’s one of those guys where, hey, you better bring it, because he’s going to have his “A” game. He’s one of those guys who really leads the team and provides that energy.”
Extra Point: Will Chandler Cox get any carries?
Chandler Cox would certainly love the opportunity.
"Super exciting,” Cox said of the possibility. “I think it is something I've always wanted to do since I came to Auburn. I wanted to run the ball.”
What Auburn coaches love about Cox is the way he finished the thought.
“They're giving me that chance,” Cox said. “I think it's good for me too. Even if I didn't run the ball, I'm okay with that."
Malzahn won’t feel any pressure to increase Cox role in the offense, but making opposing defenses game plan for the possibility wouldn’t be a bad thing. Cox has the resume having put up more than 3,000 yards at Apopka High School.
The back showed what he’s capable during A-Day breaking a 71-yard run. The play was the longest play from scrimmage.
Bottom line — Cox isn’t going to emerge as a primary ball carrier in Auburn’s offense, but the coaches to mix him in.
Stat of the day
Auburn could use a little of Cox’s toughness late in games.
The Tigers averaged 3.98 yards a carry in the fourth quarter last year, a steep decline from the 5.25 yards per carry in 2014. The offense also struggled running the ball on third downs (2.23 yards per carry) and inside the 20-yard line (3.05 yards per carry).
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