There are many aspects of the Auburn football program to be excited about heading into the 2023 season. Obviously there is the novelty of a new head coach in Hugh Freeze, who has done everything correctly so far in terms of recruiting and immersing himself into the Auburn family.
There’s also a new quarterback on the block, and most fans are expecting to see former Michigan State Spartan Payton Thorne take the field as QB1 this September. Not to mention all the new faces on the Tigers’ squad after massive hauls from both the winter and spring transfer portal.
With so many changes happening, it’s easy to overlook the returners sometimes, but make no mistake—returning running back Jarquez Hunter is posed to have the biggest season of his career in 2023.
Though social media allegations lead to a suspension for the RB a couple months ago, it appears that Hunter has every intention of playing this fall and has been working nonstop to get ready with former Auburn football running back Brad Lester, who has also worked with RBs such as Tank Bigsby and Najee Harris.
According to Lester, Hunter is a hard worker, is mentally tough, and is going to be “the next guy up” on the Plains. It’s easy for Lester to see Hunter’s talent, per AL.com:
"“I felt like he was so dominant as a downhill runner and a power runner last year, the biggest thing we’ve been working on these past few weeks is his open-field moves, pass protection… just things to add to his game,” Lester said. “He’s already probably one of the better running backs I’ve ever worked with.”"
After backing up Tank Bigsby for two years, it’s time for Jarquez Hunter to step into his role as RB1 with the likes of Damari Alston, Brian Battle, and Jeremiah Cobb rotating in around him. There’s no question that 2023 is posed to be Jarquez Hunter’s breakout season.