Losing ‘star running back of the future’ would be significant blow to Auburn’s offense

Losing the “star running back of the future,” Jarquez Hunter, would be a significant blow to the Auburn football offense says AL.com’s Matt Cohen — who stated that the junior’s future on the Plains could be in jeopardy amidst his absence from AU’s fall camp.

“Losing Hunter would be a significant blow to Auburn’s offense,” Cohen wrote. “Hunter showed flashes during the 2022 season of being Auburn’s star running back of the future. This season, he was projected to take over the lead role in the backfield and see the most expanded playing time of his college career. All of that now might be in jeopardy.”

A leaked sex tape during the offseason that allegedly includes Hunter and potentially involved other players, per Cohen, was the impetus for several suspensions. It is unknown thus far where this saga may lead considering Hugh Freeze’s tightlipped nature surrounding Hunter’s availability throughout the offseason.

Hugh Freeze bullish on Auburn football RB room with or without Jarquez Hunter

Freeze has aimed to maintain positivity on the Plains regarding the running back room and the elephant in the room regarding RB1 being or not being in the room come September 2. On the first day of fall camp, Freeze dialed up the hype for the rushers who were present at the Woltosz Football Performance Center.

“I loved our running back room in spring and I’m excited about adding Cobb and Battie,” Freeze prefaced before saying, “I think we have good players here. I think Damari has been one of the best leaders on our team this entire summer and spring.”

Brian Battie was USF’s RB1 in 2022, so at worst, the Tigers have a starter-level playmaker. Damari Alston showed promise in 2022 during his freshman season and Jeremiah Cobb is highly-touted in the competitive Montgomery region, so all signs point to great running back play in 2023 with or without Hunter available.