HOOVER, Ala. — Auburn needed a running back when Roc Thomas left the program and got their wish fulfilled thanks to an old connection on the recruiting trail.
The addition of former Baylor signee Kameron Martin in July filled a void, and with options limited in the backfield, coaches expect the true freshman to play immediately this fall.
“He fits our offense very well,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said.
Martin was rated the nation’s No. 7 all-purpose running back and has been timed running the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds. He initially signed with Baylor but was granted a release after Art Briles was fired in the offseason.
“I feel deep down in my heart that I have an opportunity to go in there and compete,” Martin told SEC Country in July. “Nobody promised me playing time or anything but they told me I have the opportunity.”
Promises or not, it certainly sounds like Martin will play this upcoming season at Auburn. He is expected to wear No. 22, though Auburn has yet to confirm his jersey number.
“If you look at the past we’ve had success with true freshmen on the field playing the running back position,” Malzahn said. “It’s a natural instinct position. Kameron is a smart young man, too, and I think he’ll help us this year.”
The most notable running backs to contribute as freshmen under Malzahn are Thomas and Michael Dyer, who was Auburn’s top running back in 2010.
“When the opportunity presents itself of a guy that you’ve already recruited before and you have a relationship with and you feel like he fit the offense, I just thought it was a good match and I think he’ll be a very good player for us,” Malzahn said.