Auburn football rumors: Is Vandy’s leading rusher following Mason to AU?

Auburn footballMandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Auburn footballMandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

With Shaun Shivers and Tank Bigsby as the only rushers returning to the Auburn football running backs room–and with only one RB signed so far in the 2021 class–Bryan Harsin could be looking to add a fifth name to that list in Keyon Henry-Brooks.

The Vanderbilt sophomore was the team’s leading rusher in 2020 with 494 yards in only six games after missing three games with injuries. In addition, he caught 28 passes for 258 yards. He announced today via Twitter that he would be entering the NCAA Transfer Portal.

Although losing one of their best players is an obvious blow to Vanderbilt, Anchor of Gold reports the possible reasons behind Henry-Brooks’ decision to transfer:

"Henry-Brooks’ 4.1 yards per carry average wasn’t great, granted some of that was on an inexperienced offensive line, but Vanderbilt got similar production out of redshirt sophomore Ja’Veon Marlow (46 carries for 186 yards in 2020) and the Commodores are also bringing in Temple transfer Re’Mahn Davis (271 carries, 1259 yards, 9 touchdowns in two seasons with the Owls), as well as signees Dylan Betts-Pauley and Patrick Smith, and they’ll also return reserve running back Rocko Griffin (37 carries for 92 yards as a true freshman.)"

With a crowded running backs room in Nashville, Henry-Brooks is looking to take his talents elsewhere–probably with ambitions of more playing time. But why would Auburn football be the landing spot for Keyon Henry-Brooks? Coach Derek Mason.

The current Auburn Tigers’ defensive coordinator spent last season at Vanderbilt as head coach, and Henry-Brooks even mentions Coach Mason in his statement. The running back could be looking to follow the head coach he flourished under last season.

The other possible option on Henry-Brooks’ radar is UGA, seeing as he’s from Powder Springs, GA. Let’s hope a familiar coach matters more than a familiar state in Henry-Brooks’ decision.

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