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It's showtime for six Auburn players at the Senior Bowl
Jan. 23, 2015

CameronArtisPayne
Auburn's Cameron Artis-Payne makes a move during Senior Bowl practice this week


By Charles Goldberg
AuburnTigers.com

Cameron Artis-Payne knows running backs aren't always the hottest commodities in NFL drafts, but don't think that doesn't matter to the players on draft day.

"Running backs can make it from all over, but at the end of the day, you can't tell me no one cares about where they go. Obviously, you want to go as high as you possibly can," said the now-former Auburn running back who spent this week trying to impress NFL scouts, coaches and management during Senior Bowl activities in Mobile.

Finally, at 3 p.m. Saturday, Auburn's six-man delegation will be on display when the Senior Bowl kicks off on the NFL Network. After that, at least five of the former Tigers will participate in the NFL Combine.

Joining Artis-Payne at the Senior Bowl are center Reese Dismukes, receivers Sammie Coates and C.J. Uzomah, defensive lineman Gabe Wright and newly-minted defensive back Nick Marshall. Artis-Payne says he's headed to the NFL Combine, and expect to see Dismukes, Coates, Wright and Marshall there as well.

"These six out here says a lot about our program. Our coaches have done a great job developing guys," said Auburn coach Gus Malzahn when he dropped in for Thursday's practice.

An observation:  John Murphy, who covers the Buffalo Bills for NFL.com, said, "The best receiver on the field through the three days of Senior Bowl practices was Auburn’s Sammie Coates."

Artis-Payne not only led Auburn in rushing, but the SEC as well went he gained 1,608 yards in 2014. He hopes NFL scouts noticed and will give him a chance, just as they did with Tre Mason last year when he was selected in the third round by the St. Louis Rams.

"Once you get there, it's about sticking and having success," Artis-Payne said. "You can be a first-round pick and be out in three years, and you can be a seventh-round pick and have a 15-year career. It's about performing once you get there."

And as far as the draft goes, "you only need one team to fall in love with you. I think I stack up pretty well, but I don't make the decision. They do."

But, added Artis-Payne, he's using his training to work toward the NFL Combine "to shock some people."

No running back was selected in the first round in either of the last two years.

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter:

 

 

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