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Barret newest wildcard

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plainsman.com

Fortune Teller: 'Unique' talent Devan Barrett is newest wild card in Auburn offense

Last Updated 14 hours ago

4-5 minutes

Every Monday and Thursday, Plainsman sports staffers Zach Tantillo and Nathan King will analyze an Auburn football player who has a chance to make a sizeable impact on the team next season.

Today’s Fortune Teller focuses on Devan Barrett, the newest wild card in a long history of versatile weapons in Gus Malzahn's offense.

Now an advantageous staple of the Gus Malzahn offense, the fly-sweep at Auburn has always been used by an elusive back who was a hazard to scamper all the way for six every time he got the edge. Whether it be Onterio McCalebb, Corey Grant or Eli Stove, a sprinting Tiger in the backfield running horizontally towards the quarterback usually means bad news for the defense.

Unless that Tiger is on the sidelines.

When Stove, Auburn’s jet sweep man of choice who averaged 10.5 yards a touch last season, suffered a torn ACL in the Tigers’ last practice before spring break, Malzahn recognized that Chip Lindsey’s offense needed a replacement, at least until Stove’s “expected” return time in the fall.

Malzahn traded one lightning-quick Tiger for another, moving sophomore running back Devan Barrett to wide receiver to fill the void left by Stove at Auburn's flanker position. Malzahn said the move wasn’t necessarily permanent.

"He's the type where you need to find a way to get him the ball," Malzahn said. "With the injuries at wide receiver we moved him out."

As a freshman tailback out of Tampa, Florida, Barrett saw action in the backfield and as a return man for the Tigers in 2017. The former four-star athlete carried the rock 14 times for 79 yards, but seemed more comfortable snaring passes, hauling in 10 for 33 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown in the team's Peach Bowl loss to UCF.

"He's got a unique skill set," Malzahn said. "He was very good on the perimeter last year, and he can catch the ball. He catches the ball like a wide receiver. It's good for our team and good for him to be versatile like that."

Devan Barrett (5) runs the ball in the first half. Auburn vs Ole' Miss on Saturday, Oct. 7 in Auburn, Ala.

Barrett found himself trapped in a spring log-jam in the backfield. Kam Martin was called the starter by position coach Tim Horton, and backups Jatarvious Whitlow, Asa Martin, Malik Miller and C.J. Tolbert had been receiving praise from coaches in spring ball.

“It’s not much (different) as you would think, with the different things we did with him last year,” Malzahn said of Barrett, who totaled more than 4,000 yards in his high school career to go along with 44 scores. “The thing that stood out to me is he does a good job of judging the ball and attacking the ball when it’s vertically thrown down the field, so you know, he’s a versatile guy.”

PREDICTION

Single-season receptions and high school track record holders Ryan Davis and Anthony Schwartz are projected to receive equally heavy workloads if Stove isn’t available, but that doesn’t necessarily spell a letdown season for Barrett.

Devan Barrett (5) runs after a catch in the second half. Auburn vs Mississippi State on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Auburn, Ala.

The sophomore is undoubtedly one of the most elusive offensive weapons for Auburn, and he gelled well with Jarrett Stidham last season when playing within his niche: catching swing passes and screens. If he sees ample playing time in 2018 — which is a big “if” bearing in mind Auburn’s abundant depth in the backfield and receiving corps, once it gets back to full strength — Barrett can shine behind an encouragingly systematic offensive line and a Heisman hopeful gunslinger. 

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All these writers just keep forgetting Worm.  I have a feeling this kid is going to come in with a passion and drive like we have not seen in a while!

 

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28 minutes ago, LKEEL75 said:

All these writers just keep forgetting Worm.  I have a feeling this kid is going to come in with a passion and drive like we have not seen in a while!

Agreed about passion and drive, but Carl Lawson wasn't that long ago :)

 

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1 hour ago, lionheartkc said:

Agreed about passion and drive, but Carl Lawson wasn't that long ago :)

 

yeah, I guess I was thinking more at the RB position.

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2 hours ago, LKEEL75 said:

All these writers just keep forgetting Worm.  I have a feeling this kid is going to come in with a passion and drive like we have not seen in a while!

Same thought here. And I don't think that we'd take Ryan Davis out of the slot, where he flirted with records last season, to play flanker when we have 3 other guys- 2 track stars, 2 running backs, and 3 guys who probably have better builds to carry the ball. 

As for Lawson, we didn't get to see a ton of that passion and drive because he was so often injured. 20 starts over 4 years...

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Barrett should get the 3rd most touches of the RBs including receptions.  I feel like he’s a season away from really breaking out

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I guarantee that by game 5, Gus will have his role figured out and know what to do with him.

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Gus is the oldest wildcard.

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16 minutes ago, AUsince72 said:

Gus is the oldest wildcard.

Jokers Wild? Nope, won't work.

Never mind.

Edited by AUld fAUx@
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Gus is definitely the real wild card here. He'll cut your brakes, play 12 QBs in one game, run the same play 17 times in a row just to keep you on your toes.

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6 hours ago, Tiger said:

Gus is definitely the real wild card here. He'll cut your brakes, play 12 QBs in one game, run the same play 17 times in a row just to keep you on your toes.

60% of the time; it works every time.

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55 minutes ago, triangletiger said:

Is a wild card anything like a wildcat?

Ooooh, you're gonna get some folks feelin' some kind of way with that.

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4 hours ago, triangletiger said:

Is a wild card anything like a wildcat?

Do we really need to run that dadgummit wild card play?! 

giphy.gif

Edited by DAG
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3 hours ago, triangletiger said:

Is a wild card anything like a wildcat?

Both can surprise.

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8 minutes ago, DAG said:

Do we really need to run that dadgummit wild card play?! 

With Joey G... I'm afraid we do. And if we land that Edwards kid... yep. We might even snap it to the big fella coming in this summer. 

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Just now, McLoofus said:

With Joey G... I'm afraid we do. And if we land that Edwards kid... yep. We might even snap it to the big fella coming in this summer. 

Well Joey G is a QB. Is it really a wild cat if the QB is behind center ?

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17 minutes ago, DAG said:

Well Joey G is a QB. Is it really a wild cat if the QB is behind center ?

Yup. Especially if, like Malik Willis and John Franklin, he's almost never allowed to throw the ball. Cam frequently ran the Wildcat. We all loved it. 

Plus, KJ threw some passes out of it. (And was super successful converting first downs and touchdowns from it.)

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20 minutes ago, McLoofus said:

Yup. Especially if, like Malik Willis and John Franklin, he's almost never allowed to throw the ball. Cam frequently ran the Wildcat. We all loved it. 

Plus, KJ threw some passes out of it. (And was super successful converting first downs and touchdowns from it.)

Well, Yes I reckon if you do this stuff a lot of people would love it...If JG can do this then sign me up for it all day. And yes, KJ ran it successfully, which I had no problem with. But like most things, I believe you need to have the quality of an athlete to run it including the ability to read defenses and the ability to be a threat passing just a little bit. Gus made a living off of it at Arkansas, but he also had Darren McFadden.

 

 

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^Good call on McFadden. If I'm not mistaken, Tebow was basically running it a lot. Definitely takes the right kind of guy, you're right. I was hoping the big guy we got in this last class might be that kind of guy, but he's sounding more like a big slot/TE/HB hybrid. Tye Edwards, though, sounds like he was made to run it. And I know it gets old, but a quick google of "kalen ballage wildcat" is illuminating. They're talking about him maybe running it at Miami. Chip Lindsey can get you six with a dude like that. 

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I think Chubb ran it at UGA last year...but no passing attempts....have not seen many "wildcats" who are much of a passing threat.

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IIRC the Wildcat is actually a specific formation with an unbalanced line.  Really doesn't matter who the QB is.  It just usually happens that a team uses it's best short yardage runner...in AU's case the QB can often be that guy.  See Cam, Nick (potentially) Malik or Joey G.....

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1 hour ago, McLoofus said:

With Joey G... I'm afraid we do. And if we land that Edwards kid... yep. We might even snap it to the big fella coming in this summer. 

I can see it now...Gus redshirting him and using his 4 games to run nothing but wildcat with him.

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15 hours ago, WFE12 said:

I can see it now...Gus redshirting him and using his 4 games to run nothing but wildcat with him.

Works for me. I think he could be a serious weapon in that role. Or it would be a great way to get his feet wet. The only downside I would see in that is if we chose to preserve his redshirt at the possible expense of winning a game or two. 

Good news, sorta, is that we have some early opportunities to size him up against real competition in what should be very winnable games at home. We can see if that's a legit arrow in the quiver for later in the season- i.e., maybe it's worth burning his redshirt if it's 3rd and short in the 3rd quarter of the IB and he gives us the best chance of converting- or we can make a better informed decision to preserve it.

And that goes for all the younguns. It's going to be so fun to watch this new rule roll out. I can't remember a more interesting new rule in quite some time. 

Edited by McLoofus
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