This past Saturday we all watched in awe as the Auburn Tigers offense looked better than ever since Gus Malzahn took over last season. In particular, with the departure of Tre Mason, it was interesting to watch the running back battle between Cameron Artis-Payne and Corey Grant, both of whom turned in valiant performances and stated their cases for the starting spot loudly.
But don’t get ready to anoint either as the definitive Auburn running back starter just yet, because there is one candidate that has yet to have his chance at impressing the coaching staff, and that’s top 2014 recruit Racean ‘Roc’ Thomas.
Thomas rushed for over 2,000 yards in his high school senior year last season, and absolutely has a chance to come in and take the job away from both of the seniors right off the bat, which is not a bad position Malzahn and staff find themselves in with three more than capable running backs ready to step up and fill Mason’s spot.
However, as Thomas himself recently pointed out, it was almost a problem that Auburn didn’t have because when the recruiting process was coming down to the wire, he was full ready to commit to the rival Alabama Crimson Tide, the team that he grew up idolizing.
He was ready, that is, until Nick Saban and the coaching staff told him to hold up, something Thomas wouldn’t have any of.
“I was like, ‘Well, no I’m not going to hold on. If y’all want my commitment, then y’all will let me commit right now,’” Thomas told ESPN.com.
Thomas then went on to say that the decision may have surprised most that knew him, but he ultimately made the decision that was best for him in the end.
“I think a lot of people were surprised,” Thomas said. “And [at the same time], I think a lot of them really kind of knew that’s where I was going to go. I guess it’s just stuff that happened over time.”
We’ll see in the next few months once Thomas arrives on the Plains whether or not Alabama’s loss becomes Auburn’s ultimate gain.