By Greg Ostendorf
AUBURN, Ala. – There’s fast and then there’s Auburn fast.
Since Gus Malzahn has been the head coach of Auburn, the program has prided itself on speed. From Sammie Coates to Ricardo Louis to Corey Grant – the list goes on. This coming season will be no different as NFL.com writer Chase Goodbread ranks two Tigers on his list of the 18 fastest players in college football for the 2018 season.
At No. 6 is cornerback Javaris Davis, a former track star from Florida who once claimed he ran a 4.18 in the 40-yard dash while at Auburn.
“Auburn's fastest player is quickly becoming among its most valuable, as well,” Goodbread wrote. “Davis is expected to start at nickelback this fall. He can run the 40-yard dash in less than 4.3 seconds, including a 4.24 to lead the AU roster in 2017 spring testing. He's been hand-timed at less than 4.2, but you don't need to buy into hand-timing legends to recognize Davis as fleet-elite.”
At No. 12 is wide receiver Darius Slayton, who as a sophomore last year, led the team and finished third in the SEC with 22.2 yards per catch.
”The undisputed deep threat in the Tigers' passing attack has been clocked at 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash, and as a high school track star, he clocked a 10.53-second 100-meter time despite a groin pull," wrote Goodbread. "He stretched the field for 22.2 yards per catch last season, which ranked fifth in the nation. Auburn will need him to be a more complete receiver this fall, but when it's time to take the top off the defense, he'll again be QB Jarrett Stidham's main target."
Auburn is one of only two teams with two players on the list, and Davis and Slayton are the only SEC players represented on the list.
Though it’s a little early to put either player on the list, more speed arrived at Auburn this summer in the form of true freshmen Anthony Schwartz and Shaun Shivers. Schwartz, in particular, is a track star from Florida who set a world youth record with a 10.15 100m in the Florida Relays.
Greg Ostendorf is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: