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August 27, 2013

Auburn football: Starting running back position a toss-up between Tre Mason and Cameron Artis-Payne entering Saturday

BY RYAN BLACK | rblack@ledger-enquirer.com

@wareagleextra | Like the blog on Facebook

AUBURN, Ala. — The race to be in the backfield with Auburn’s first-team offense on Saturday is too close to call.

Head coach Gus Malzahn said during his Tuesday press conference that Tre Mason and Cameron Artis-Payne were “pretty much on equal ground right now” heading into the season opener against Washington State.

Gus Malzahn said Cameron Artis-Payne (above) is 'on equal ground' with Tre Mason as the first-team running back heading into Saturday's season opener. (Todd Van Emst/Auburn University)

Gus Malzahn said Cameron Artis-Payne (above) is ‘on equal ground’ with Tre Mason as the first-team running back heading into Saturday’s season opener. (Todd Van Emst/Auburn University)

“They both had outstanding fall camps,” he said. “Corey Grant’s a guy you could see in the mix too. The best thing is we feel like we’ve got some quality depth at the running back position going in. You can never have enough of that.”

Malzahn went on to list the attributes he believes will help Grant contribute on offense this fall.

“Definitely he’s a speed guy, but he’s a strong guy,” he said. “And he can do the different things we ask our tailbacks to do. You could see him doing just like Tre and Cameron.”

Unlike others, Malzahn said Grant hasn’t been promised a minimum number of touches each game.

“There are certain guys on offense that we do want to have certain touches,” he said, “but I can’t say right now that Corey’s one of those guys.”

Malzahn was also asked whether Johnathan Ford would return to running back at some point in the season. Ford, a true freshman, moved to cornerback following Jonathan Jones’ off-field injury, which happened near the end of fall camp.

“He’s made the transition to defensive back, and we’re letting him, especially being a freshman, really focus on playing corner and playing special teams,” Malzahn said.

1 Comment

  1. […] to the blog the previous day, beginning with Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn’s declaration that Tre Mason and Cameron Artis-Payne are neck-and-neck at the top of the running back depth chart heading into Saturday. We also had wire-to-wire video coverage of Malzahn’s 16-minute press […]

    Pingback by 7 at 7: Taking a stroll around the SEC | War Eagle Extra — August 28, 2013 @ 7:45 am

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