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Spring Review: Running Back

The strength of this offense will be on the legs of Tank and Shivers.

Syndication: The Montgomery Advertiser Jake Crandall via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Bryan Harsin’s very first spring practice is in the books. Over the next 2 weeks, I’ll take a look at where each position group stands as we head into the long summer off-season.

Post Spring Depth Chart

  • #10 Tank Bigsby | 6’0” | 208 lbs | Sophomore
  • #8 Shaun Shivers | 5’7” | 189 lbs | Senior
  • #22 Devan Barrett | 6’0” | 195 lbs | Senior

Summer Additions

  • Jarquez Hunter | 6’0” | 222 lbs | Freshman

Spring Review

To the surprise of no one, it was abundantly clear when watching A-Day that the run game will be strength of this offense lead by arguably the nation’s best running back Tank Bigsby. Bigsby took home MVP honors after carrying the ball 9 times for 64 yards and a TD. The majority of Tank’s yardage came on this long scamper when he made the A-Day defensive MVP Trae Elston look silly in the open field.

While we all know Tank is a playmaker and will be the engine of the offense this season, I actually thought the most impressive performance of the day went to veteran tailback Shaun Shivers who toted the rock 12 times for 55 yards and never seemed to go down on first contact. The senior has put on 10 lbs and looks more comfortable in Auburn’s new scheme. Shivers has always been at his best when he’s gotten a chance to build up momentum and the Tigers implementing more of a downhill run game out of different pro sets looks to be hugely beneficial to the Florida native.

Unfortunately that’s where the positivity ends. After those two, Auburn has a massive gap on the depth chart following the mass transfer portal exits at the end of the season. Former 4-star Devan Barrett is back to his natural position and busted a nice run late in the game but is not necessarily someone you want to count on to handle double digit carries against SEC competition.

Some help is on the way this summer when 3-star signee Jarquez Hunter arrives on campus. While not highly ranked, his skillset is a perfect fit for the Tigers offense and I think he’ll have a chance to help early. He definitely looks the part that’s for sure.

But it’s a lot to ask of a freshman to be ready to step in and handle double digit carries so don’t be surprised if the Tigers go portal hunting this summer. However, just like finding a QB willing to compete with Bo would have been difficult, so too finding someone willing to be #2 to Tank for two more years will be. If a kid is in the portal, especially an upperclassman, they are likely looking for a more secure route to the field. Knowing Tank will be the guy for the next 2 years will make that sell more difficult but I do expect Auburn to find someone. Keep an eye on former Clemson back Chez Mellusi, Vanderbilt back Keyon Henry-Brooks, and Cal tailback Bradrick Shaw.

War Eagle!