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Opening's there, says Gus Malzahn, at Auburn running back
Gus Malzahn likes the look of the first day of preseason practice
Aug. 3, 2016

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. -- Marcus Davis says a strong offseason will give Auburn a bounce heading into the football season, even after the dismissal of running back Jovon Robinson on Wednesday.

''We have a lot of great running backs that I feel like are going to do a job and they're going to be ready to step up,'' said the Auburn receiver after the first day of preseason practice.

Still in the running for the running back job are Kerryon Johnson, Kamryn Pettway, Malik Miller, Chandler Cox and former Baylor signee Kam Martin.

''It's a great opportunity for these other guys,'' said coach Gus Malzahn. ''I feel very good and I feel like people will step up.'' 

Davis said the team will be ready.

''Right now,'' Davis said, ''I just feel like the team is in a good place just because the offseason we had and the brotherhood we created. We're going to go with what is best for the team.'' 
Pettway, an H-back by trade, got a look at tailback in the spring. Good move.

''Kamryn Pettway,'' Davis said, ''is a guy that's really been eye-opening since the spring time, and we just have a lot of different guys that are willing to step up.''

 ''We feel very good about him,'' Malzahn said. ''He's the guy that probably did the best job or one of the best jobs at tailback in the spring.''

''Kam Martin is going to have a chance. He's a very talented young man. We've had some success before with true freshmen playing the tailback position so he'll get a great opportunity.''

Like Martin, Miller is a freshman.

''As a matter of fact, our history shows that we've had quite a bit of success with our freshman running backs,'' Malzahn said. ''We have a system that I'd say is running back-friendly, so those true freshmen have a chance to show what they can do.''

Malzahn said the team would not have distractions this season while announcing Robinson's dismissal.

''He did not meet my standards or expectations of what it takes to be an Auburn Tiger football player,'' Malzahn said.
Malzahn said the good offseason vibe carried over into the first practice.

''I felt pretty good about it,'' he said. ''We let our young guys get out there early and kind of watch the older guys operate and work and then we focused with them late in practice. I thought our energy was good. I thought our attention to detail, especially with the older guys, you could really tell that they were much improved from the spring, and we expect them to be. I thought the young guys had a good attitude. They were very eager to learn. Overall, it was a good day.''

Malzahn also said...

*Receiver Kyle Davis did not practice because he ''had a procedure done on his foot a couple of weeks ago. He's going to be week to week, but we do expect him to be back in the near future.''

*Defensive lineman Jaunta'vius Johnson is having knee surgery this week and ''will more than likely be out for the year.''
*Offensive lineman Prince Sammons ''had a procedure on his foot done a couple of weeks ago'' and will also be ''week to week.''

*Defensive back Marshall Taylor is ''taking care of some personal business'' and didn't practice.

*Defensive back Marlon Character didn't practice, but is expected to practice Thursday.



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

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