Five Auburn Tigers Breakout Players for 2014

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Oct 19, 2013; College Station, TX, USA; Auburn Tigers running back Corey Grant (20) runs past Texas A&M Aggies defensive lineman Julien Obioha (95) during the first half at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

2. #20 Corey Grant, 5-foot-11, 205 pounds, Senior Running Back

We recently wrote about Corey Grant, and specifically how offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee called him a “big, strong back that can fly.” With a skillset like that, it is easy to keep bringing up the senior running back, and he should become a household name in 2014.

At this point, Grant is not expected to carry the majority of the load for the Tigers at running back. Fellow senior Cameron Artis-Payne is the favorite to start the season in the backfield, but Grant will see plenty of action as well.

Used often on speed sweeps around the edge last season from the slot, Grant averaged an eye-popping 9.8 yards per carry on 66 rushing attempts. With 647 yards, he was the team’s third leading rusher behind Heisman Trophy finalist Tre Mason and quarterback Nick Marshall, and also scored six rushing touchdowns.

As Lashlee mentioned, Grant has a very special set of abilities. He is one of the fastest players in all of college football, but has developed enough strength and power to thrive as a runner inside the tackles as well. Then, once he finds a crease, he can explode for huge yardage.

The Auburn coaching staff will find ways to get Corey Grant the football. He may not lead the team in carries in 2014, but he will contribute as a kick returner (he returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown against Tennessee in 2013) and could factor in to the passing game as well.