By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Kamryn Pettway was a blocking H-back who didn't have a carry last season.
Gus Malzahn promises things will be different this year.
"Kamyrn has gone full force at the tailback positon," Malzahn said on the SEC teleconference Wednesday. "The focus hasn't been so much at H-back like it was last year with the blocking and all that. He's really been focused on carrying the ball. I'm really looking forward to watching him this season, watching him develop as a running back. He played that position in high school and did a very good job. I'm excited to see his progression this year."
Kerryon Johnson, who checks in at 6-feet, 211, is the starting tailback. Pettway, at 6-feet, 240 and the No. 2 tailback on the depth chart, will give defenses a different look.
Pettway's credentials include rushing for 1,402 yards and 17 touchdowns his senior year at Prattville High School. He had one catch for 12 yards at Auburn last season.
Lurking, somewhere, will be freshmen running backs Malik Miller and Kam Martin. They weren't on the first depth chart of the season Tuesday, but they'll begin their Auburn careers on special teams when the Tigers open the season against Clemson at 8 p.m. Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
"In a perfect world," Malzahn said of Miller, "you'd slowly bring him along like we have some freshmen in the past. We'll see how things go. I wouldn't read too much in that he wasn't listed on the depth chart."
*Malzahn called Clemson "one of the top teams in the country. It should be a very good measuring stick of where we're at. We've had a very good offseason.
"It ought to be a good one. I'm looking forward to watching our guys perform."
*Defensive back Marshall Taylor, the transfer from Miami of Ohio who missed the first two weeks of preseason work, is available.
"Marshall is definitely capable of playing this week," Malzahn said. "We're still trying to get him back in the swing of things, get familiar with everything, but he's good to go if we need him."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine