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Most important 2020 players: Tank Bigsby


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Most important 2020 Auburn football players: Tank Bigsby

ByMark Murphy


AUBURN, Alabama—One of the more interesting battles for a starting spot on the 2020 Auburn football team is expected to be the competition to find the number one guy and top backups at the running back position.

Coach Gus Malzahn and his staff signed just one player this year to add to that mix, but there looks to be a real chance that their newcomer, Tank Bigsby, will be able to contribute as a true freshman.

An Under Armour All-American from Callaway High in Hogansville, Ga., Bigsby graduated early and enrolled at Auburn in January. Although he was not able to participate in spring drills, which were cancelled when Auburn students were not allowed to attend on-campus classes in March due to the Covid-19 scare, he was able to do the strength and conditioning workouts and begin learning his football assignments.

“Tank Bigsby was on our board as the No. 1 running back for a long time,” Malzahn said after signing a player ranked as the No. 4 ranked prospect at his position in the 2020 class, according the 247Sports.

“He’s a one-play drive type of guy,” Malzahn added. “I mean from anywhere on the field he can take it to the house. He has got receiver type skills with his hands. Very excited about Tank. We think he’s an impact player. We think he could help us immediately.”

The opportunity is there for Bigsby to contribute right away. Last year’s starter, Boobee Whitlow, is gone and so is 2019 senior Kam Martin, last season’s No. 3 rusher and a four-year contributor.


9524811.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs Tank Bigsby is shown in action vs. Opelika High. (Photo: Jason Caldwell, Inside the Auburn Tigers/AUTigers.com, 247Sports)

Bigsby, who rushed for 1,636 yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior, did it by averaging better than 11 yards per carry. He will be competing for playing time with sophomore DJ Williams, junior Shaun Shivers,  senior Malik Miller and redshirt freshman Mark-Anthony Richards and possibly Harold Joiner, who may be used more as an H-back.

Williams finished No. 2 on the team in rushing last season with 400 yards at 4.8 yards per carry. Shivers ran for 286 yards at 5.2 per carry, Joiner averaged 7.8 yards per rush on 12 carries an Miller ran the football 10 times for 42 yards.

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