When the dust settled after the 2013 season, Auburn’s rushing statistics jumped off the page quicker than toilet paper off the shelf after a big win at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Amassing nearly 4,600 yards and 48 touchdowns against SEC defenses loaded with NFL talent is nothing short of amazing – proving that Gus Malzahn’s “high school offense” was anything but. With the perfect quarterback in Nick Marshall and an experienced offensive line, the Tigers ran roughshod over anyone and everyone.
Apparently, the rich are getting richer in Lee County, AL. Running backs across the South are taking notice of this performance and the opportunity to shine in this run-happy, track meet style of play. Tre Mason’s Heisman candidacy and performance against Florida State in the national championship clearly stands out in the minds of recruits and it is already paying dividends.
On April 15, while Americans were begrudgingly mailing their checks to the Treasury Department, Kerryon Johnson (Madison, AL) brightened the day of Auburn fans everywhere by committing to the Tigers. Johnson is considered an athlete, but his natural position appears to be running back. He is one of the top 50 players in the nation according to Rivals.com and 247sports.com.
Johnson is 6-feet and 200 pounds and bears a striking resemblance to former Auburn standout, Kenny Irons. With home run speed and great field vision, Johnson is a mismatch for most linebackers, as evidenced by his performance in offseason camps and his junior season. He accounted for 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns, leading Madison Academy to the state title.
The Tigers may not be done in April. Jovon Robinson, the No. 1 rated junior college prospect in the nation, is a running back at Georgia Military College. Auburn leads for Robinson and he will attend the spring game on Saturday. Robinson (6-feet, 220 pounds, 4.5 40-yard dash) gained an astounding 2,387 yards and scored 34 touchdowns last season for GMC.
If Auburn can land Robinson and Johnson in the same week, the Tigers will be set for the foreseeable future at the running back position. If this stable of backs are as successful as Mason, the grocery stores of Auburn and Opelika better double the order of TP in August.