Auburn was happy to escape last weekend with a 31-24 victory against Louisville in Atlanta.
However, a player that played just one snap in that win is garnering a lot of the attention going into Saturday’s game against Jacksonville State.
Freshman running back Kerryon Johnson, who was rated the No. 1 2015 prospect in Alabama by ESPN and multiple other outlets, will “definitely” play, according to Auburn coach Gus Malzahn.
Johnson was banged up and did not receive any carries last week. Auburn should get a chance to give Johnson a significant amount of snaps, as they are facing an FCS team that should not give them as much competition as Louisville did last weekend.
If Johnson plays well he could give Gus Malzahn a lot to think about at the running back position.
Roc Thomas and Jovon Robinson were hurt in the opener, as Peyton Barber carried the rushing attack in the second half. Thomas started the game at running back, but you have to think Barber has a slight edge after his effort on Saturday.
“When good things happen to good people, we rejoice,” Malzahn said Wednesday. “We’re no different.”
Still, Malzahn would not say whether or not Barber had a grip on the starting job just yet.
If Johnson plays well this weekend it bodes well for Auburn going forward. If the Tigers have multiple good options to turn to in the backfield then their ground attack will be potent.
Johnson was named “Mr. Alabama” during his senior season. Saturday he should get a chance to live up to that recognition.