AUBURN, Ala. — It’s a truck. It’s a train. No, it’s Kamryn Pettway.
Since the start of his breakout 2016 campaign in which he led the SEC in rushing yards per game, Auburn football players have raved about the bruising running back’s style. In a video tweeted by the program Wednesday, teammates compared Pettway to two powerful modes of transportation.
“Choo choo… that train,” junior defensive end Jeff Holland says in the video. “Get a ride on that train, or you better get out of the way.”
The 6-foot, 235-pound Pettway averaged 124.8 yards per game last season, taking over as the Tigers’ top running back in their run to the Sugar Bowl. He became the first Auburn player since Bo Jackson to post four straight 150-yard games.
Senior safety Tray Matthews, Auburn’s leading tackler from a season ago, said he has a couple of nicknames for the powerful rusher.
“I call him Bubba,” Matthews said. “I also say Wide Load. That’s a wide load. That’s a truck coming into the lanes, that A gap, that B gap. You can give him a sweep to the outside, and he’s still a big train moving to the outside.”
For a larger running back, Pettway showcased some impressive breakaway speed last fall. He slimmed down some this spring while still retaining that familiar tackle-breaking strength.
“He’s a big guy, and he’s fast,” senior linebacker Tre’ Williams said. “If you’re scared to tackle him, he’s going to run by you. If you think you’re big and bad and you’re gonna tackle him, he’ll run you over.”
Pettway garnered plenty of attention last fall after rushing for 236 yards against Ole Miss. After the game, he told the SEC Network that “nobody really wants to tackle me.”
Pettway’s defensive teammates agree with the statement.
“You don’t want to see him in the hole one-on-one,” junior cornerback Carlton Davis said. “It’s a scary sight. Just to see him and you one-on-one, that’s something to deal with.”
That’s high praise for a player who started his Auburn career at H-back — a lead-blocking specialist that resembles a classic fullback in the Tigers’ offense.
Pettway brought his physical nature to the position change last offseason. Now entering his second season as a running back, fellow rusher Kerryon Johnson said Pettway still loves the contact from his old role.
“When you can carry the ball as many times as he can in the game and in consecutive weeks, it takes a toll on himself, but I think it damages defenses more,” Johnson said. “He’s on his 30th carry, and he’s looking like he’s just on his 10th. He’s still looking for contact, he’s still got the speed. It’s just hard to contain him.”
Here’s the full video, along with some of Pettway’s best runs from 2017, from Auburn Football:
"You better get outta the way."
— Auburn Football (@AuburnFootball) July 5, 2017