Auburn football: B/R calls Tank Bigsby one of CFB’s biggest impact returnees

Auburn football Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
Auburn football Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports /

Spring practice is underway on the Plains, and optimism is at an all-time high this decade for Auburn football.

Yes, that is comparing a sample size that includes just two years, but the difference between last year’s initial pandemic-stricken OTA’s and this year’s socially distanced spring is night and day.

Bryan Harsin kicked off this year’s practices with a renewed sense of vigor, hyping up his team and his staff in what is a critical transition period for the Tigers. Gone is Gus Malzahn, his coaching staff, and many of his recruits.

Optimism is the motto going forward in Auburn, and the national media is starting to catch on.

In Bleacher Report’s latest piece predicting college football’s biggest impact players of the 2021 season, Michelle Bruton featured Auburn football’s star running back Tank Bigsby:

"Auburn rusher Tank Bigsby might be sick of remarks about his nickname…but when you’re a running back who goes by Tank, people will be delighted when you live up to it.He proved near-impossible to bring down, breaking tackles left and right. In fact, according to Pro Football Focus, he had the fifth-most broken tackles per attempt (0.34) among FBS runners.Though he struggled with a lower-body injury toward the end of the season, he more than proved himself, topping 100 yards in four games, including 192 in the regular-season finale against Mississippi State, a career high. Look for him to be “the guy” in Auburn’s offense this season."

Barring a massive Bo Nix leap in his junior season, Bruton is correct in saying Bigsby will be “the guy” in his sophomore year. As she noted, in his freshman season, the man they call Tank amassed 834 yards and five touchdowns in ten games.

Bigsby is all but certain to up those numbers with a full schedule in 2021 and assuming he has overcome the nagging injuries that derailed the end of his first year on the Plains, perhaps the preseason Heisman hype will be justified in Bigsby’s first season in a new regime’s offensive system.

Next. PFF calls Tank the top returning RB. dark