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There's 'a lot of talent' in Auburn's running back race
April 9, 2015

Auburn assistant coach Tim Horton has a trio of running backs to choose from this season

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn has had the leading rusher in the Southeastern Conference the last two years in two guys that blasted through the 1,600-yard mark with room to spare.

Who's going to follow in the footsteps of Tre Mason and Cameron Artis-Payne? Running backs coach Tim Horton says he's not sure, says he's willing to spread around the carries if necessary, says he has three candidates who can do the job.

Roc Thomas, Peyton Barber and Jovon Robinson are all trying to impress during spring practice.

"There are some days that I'll leave the field and I'll say, 'Boy, ol' so-and-so, he jumped to the top today.' And then the next day, it'll be another one," Horton says. "They're all three good players. They've all got a lot of talent. So there's not one that has really jumped to the top yet."

Auburn has a week-and-a-half of spring practice remaining, and also all summer, preseason fall practice and even part of the real season to decide what to do. The Tigers followed that time frame before really unleashing Mason in 2013 on the way to his 1,800-yard season.

There's not a lot of Division I yards among this year's candidates: Thomas rushed for 214 yards last year, Barber rushed for 54, Robinson rushed for 2,387 yards, and 3,198 in two years, at Georgia Military College, where he was named the junior college player of the year last season.

This year's Auburn running back race has been balanced, Horton said.

"Really all three have had a good spring so far. It's been very competitive and it's really good competition. Obviously, we don't have to play tomorrow, so a decision hasn't been made there in terms of who's our starting tailback. But I'm real pleased with how all three are doing and I think it will be a position of strength for us. We're going to have three good running backs," he said.

"It's interesting how it's all played out over the course of the last two years as well, because going into it, I didn't know we would have the one that really took the bulk of the time. This year, I'm thinking we could legitimately play three running backs, so we'll see how it all plays out."

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



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