By Kelby Goodman, Special Contributor
Number: #36 | Hometown: Montgomery, AL | Height : 6000 | Weight: 235 | Forty: 4.55E | Class: 2018
The biggest concern with this prospect will be his availability, as he missed most of the 2017 with a fractured shoulder blade and came into the season with a plantar fasciitis issue as well. In 2016 he was only available for nine games dealing with a leg injury. For a back that’s main attribute is power and lowering the shoulder this could be a concern. Injuries aside teams will have to decide how to use the Auburn back as he came in a highly ranked fullback, then junior year was primarily a workhorse back when healthy. Not a shifty back but he did show an ability to effectively use a jump cut to either find an opening or, in rare instances, make a man miss in space. When called upon to pass protect or even run block he was very sound which will certainly help him find the field as a rookie. The 2016 version of this player was much more impressive on tape, as he showed enough burst to make it to the next level with a head of steam. He ended 2016 leading the SEC in YPG average with 1,224 yards in nine games. He finished with a 5.9 YPC average and seven touchdowns. In 2017, for the few games played, it was clear he was not playing with the same burst and most times the first tackler was able to stop him which attributed to his lower 4.0 YPC average. His pass catching ability is a bit of an unknown as he tallied just six catches in his collegiate career. His size and speed, or lack thereof, translates more to an H-back or fullback type role at the next level. With his size and power when he gets rolling he might remind you of a Mike Alstott (Purdue) type of back, a dominant collegiate rusher who was utilized as a fullback in the NFL.
Career: Played in 28 games with 10 starts … Auburn is 5-0 in games he rushes for more than 150 yards … ninth different player to rush for 100 or more yards under Malzahn as Auburn head coach.
2017: Returning starter at tailback entering the season … 1,529 career rushing yards (30th in Auburn history), 10 TD … 8 career 100-yard games … gained 74 yards on 22 carries at Clemson … 128 yards rushing vs. Mercer, scoring 3 TD … 90 yard rushing, 3 TD in second half at Arkansas … out indefinitely with shoulder injury … Preseason: Doak Walker Award watch list, Maxwell Award watch list, 2nd team All-America (Athlon, Lindy’s, Sporting News), 1st team all-SEC (Athlon, Lindy’s, Street & Smith, College Football News), 2nd team all-SEC (SEC coaches, Birmingham News, Phil Steele, SEC media, CBS Sports).
2016: First team All-SEC (coaches, AP, Athlon, Phil Steele) … played in 10 games with six starts … led the SEC in rushing at 124.8 ypg during the regular season … ranked 12th nationally in rushing average … Doak Walker Award semifinalist … seven 100-yard games this season … first Auburn player since Bo Jackson (1985) to post four consecutive 150-yard games … 1,224 rushing yards is 13th best season total in Auburn history … currently ranks 12th on Auburn single season list at 5.86 ypc and sixth at 122.4 ypg … gained first career carries against Arkansas State and finished with 152 yards rushing on 15 attempts, with a long gain of 64 yards … rushed for 123 yards on 20 carries with a 1-yard TD run vs. Texas A&M, his first start of the season … 61 yards rushing vs. LSU … did not play against ULM … 169 yards on 39 carries (5th most in AU history) at Mississippi State, scoring three first-half TDs … 192 yards on 27 carries against Arkansas with 2 TD … 236 yards with a TD on 30 carries at Ole Miss, the 10th best rushing game in Auburn history … passed the 1,000-yard mark with 173 yards on 25 carries vs. Vanderbilt … did not play vs. ULM, Georgia and Alabama A&M due to injury … 101 yards rushing on 24 carries vs. Oklahoma in Sugar Bowl … SEC offensive player of week: Ole Miss … 27th 1,000-yard rushing season in Auburn history.
2015: Rotated at fullback with Chandler Cox … did not have a carry on the season … 8-yard KO return at LSU … starter vs. Mississippi State, Idaho.
2014: Redshirted for the Tigers … Academic Top Tiger … SEC first-year academic honor roll
High School: Strong, physical runner who excels in the weight room … rushed for 1,402 yards, 17 TD as a senior … high school coach was Chad Anderson … Blue-Grey All-American Bowl, Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game; invited to 2014 U-19 International Bowl … all-state honorable mention … also a basketball letterman and track standout … Rivals top-ranked fullback, Alabama Top 10 … 247sports No. 27 RB … Scout Top 70 RB … ESPN No. 20 RB … PrepStar Top 20 RB.
(Photo: Auburn University)