Cameron Artis-Payne burst onto the scene at the Auburn Tigers spring game last year when he had 20 carries for 164 yards and a touchdown en route to earning spring MVP honors, now one year later, he’s looking to go from a role player to the starter.
Artis-Payne, or CAP, ran for 610 yards and six touchdowns in a reserve role to Heisman Trophy finalist Tre Mason in his first season on the Plains after transferring from Allan Hancock College and is fighting with Corey Grant for the starter’s job in Gus Malzahn and Rhett Lashlee’s offense.
The two complement each other very well and bring a different set of skills to the backfield with Artis-Payne viewed as the more physical back and Grant the speedster, so I’d expect both of them to share a featured role, but being the competitor that he is, Artis-Payne wants to be the man.
“Everybody wants to be the guy, so from that aspect of course [I want to know who will start],” Artis Payne tells ESPN.com. “But at the end of the day, that’s out of my hands. We just need to go out there and keep working, and when he [Malzahn] feels like it’s time for a decision to be made, he’ll make it.”
Saturday’s spring game will go a long way toward determining who the starter will be for Auburn’s season opener as they look to defend their SEC title against the Arkansas Razorbacks, and if history is any indication, Artis-Payne will enter fall camp as the successor to Mason.