AUBURN, Ala. — Nate Craig-Myers was hoping to be more involved in the Auburn offense in his second season on the Plains after injuries limited him during his freshman year.
So far the native of Dade City, Fla., and former top-five receiver nationally, has caught only 7 passes through eight games. But the sophomore isn’t frustrated about how his first season under offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey is going.
“You know, I feel good,” Craig-Myers said. “We spread the ball out with the different receivers. We probably spread the ball more than any other team in the country. I just do whatever I can for the team, and whenever my number is called, you just got to make a play.”
Juniors Will Hastings and Ryan Davis lead the way for Auburn in total yards (335) and receptions (33), respectively. Kyle Davis had claimed the No. 3 spot, but his dismissal from the program was announced on Tuesday morning. Eli Stove has notched five more receptions than Craig-Myers (13), but has only 4 more yards.
The departure of Kyle Davis doesn’t necessarily mean more targets for Craig-Myers. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said the plan remains for all of the Auburn receivers to be targeted.
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“I think up to last week we’ve done a really good job, probably as well as anybody of spreading the ball around,” Malzahn said. “Chip is really good at that and he’ll continue to do that.”
The most catches Craig-Myers has recorded in one game (3) came in Auburn’s 24-10 win over Mercer on Sept. 16. Still, Craig-Myers isn’t complaining. The 6-foot-2, 213-pound receiver has focused on a team-first mentality — even when the football isn’t coming his way.
“Coach [Kodi] Burns tells us a lot … what are you doing when you don’t have the ball in your hands?” he said. “So I feel like whenever I don’t have the ball, whether it’s blocking or running my guy off, I feel like I have to make the most out of that.”
In fact, the only annoyance Craig-Myers is navigating is Auburn’s latest loss in Baton Rouge.
“In the game of football, everybody is a competitor,” he said. “When you lose a game like that, everybody is going to have doubts in their head and everybody is going to be upset. But you know, we just have to move on.”