This post probably won't take too long, because there aren't that many backs to discuss. Attrition has left "Running Back U" at an incredibly low level, numbers wise.
With only two returning players and a smattering of experience behind them, Auburn is searching for answers to the one big question. Who wants to play?
Mike Dyer earned Offensive MVP in the BCS game last season with a very respectable performance, and two memorable runs. He broke the freshman rushing record set by Bo Jackson, gaining 1,093 yards and did that mostly between the tackles. Dyer is looking toward next season and has stepped into the leadership role along with Onterio McCaleb. They will be the old men of the offense.
Speaking of McCaleb, he only rushed the ball 95 times as a sophomore last season, but boy were they ever beautiful runs. He gained 810 yards mostly around the edge, and that worked to perfection with the threat of a running QB at the helm.
The most experienced player at RB behind Dyer and McCaleb, is Anthony Morgan. Morgan, who came to Auburn as Anthony Gulley, changed his last name in honor of his adopted parents.
Morgan spent time late last season practicing at the RB spot in the now infamous BCS practices for walk-ons and non starters. He was good enough, and asked Coach Luper enough times to get moved back to RB this season.
Coach Chizik says this about Morgan..
"Obviously, with our tailback position being what it is, that was a move we felt like would make sense. And we expect him to get back there and compete. I feel good, and it's been a comfortable transition for him."
Anthony ran five times and scored twice against Furman two years ago and had an excellent game. Since then he has spent time where the coaches needed bodies the most, which happened to be defense, with some time at Wide out. He has gained some weight, and looks more like a typical SEC back at 195 pounds. I look for Morgan to play a big role at the RB position this fall. Mostly in backup to Dyer, he will not be a step down in quality, if he stays healthy, I'll guarantee that now!
That leaves us with "BIG" Ladarious Phillips, the roster shows him at 6'1" and 291 ponds, although Coach Luper states that he gained "some weight" with last years injury. "Eric and a half" will play the H back role in Auburn's offense. I'll stand by what I said last season prior to his injury, if he stays healthy, he'll blow it up this year. I have personally nicknamed him "LP". He is quicker than you think and has some gifted athleticism. He also came to Auburn with arguably the best highlight video of any who signed in his class.
RB/DL- # 37- LADARIOUS PHILLIPS- HANDLEY HIGH(ROANOKE,AL)- 6'1-270lbs, CLASS OF 2010 (via STREETLIGHTPRODUCE)
I'll wait and see how incoming frosh Tre Mason looks in an Auburn jersey, but I have no doubt he will get some playing time this fall.
Congratulations goes to WDE1121 and his video "Radio Comparison" winner of the innaugural Track Em Tigers Post Season Video contest!