HOOVER, Ala. — Nate Craig-Myers’ belief he will be the top receiver on the roster could ruffle feathers on the Auburn roster.
After all, he’s only a freshman and several veterans have been waiting their turn to step up and be the Tigers’ top guy in the passing game.
That doesn’t appear to be the case at Auburn, however, after the freshman was asked who will be the top 1-2 punch in the offense this upcoming season.
“Myself,” Craig-Myers told SEC Country in April, “and whoever wants to tag along.”
Senior Marcus Davis is the top candidate to assume the role as the Tigers’ No. 1 receiver, but he’s just fine relenting that role to a freshman — if the Tampa Catholic High star proves it in pre-season camp.
“I love it,” Davis said. “I love young guys that come in thinking like that. That’s the attitude we need to have as a team.”
Craig-Myers arrived at Auburn in May and leads a stellar group of receivers signed by former receivers coach Dameyune Craig, who left the program to coach at LSU 11 days after National Signing Day in February.
Craig-Myers is apparently already impressing his teammates.
“Working with him has made me better, and I’m pretty sure I’ve made him better as well,” Davis said. “I think that’s what makes teams better: guys that are willing to come in and compete and come in and make plays.”
The nation’s No. 6 receiver in the 247Sports composite rankings already looks the part of an SEC receiver at 6-foot-2, 204 pounds.
“Physically, he’s certainly capable of it,” Tampa Catholic coach Mike Gregory said. “Mentally, it’s a matter of how well he picks up a college playbook.
“I had the opportunity to sit in some meetings with the Auburn guys and what they do is fairly complicated, but to some degree you do what you have to do with the personnel. I think they’ll find a way to get him on the field. Looking at the receiver group they have now, I think he can certainly go in and contribute right away. Nothing against those guys, but just knowing what he can do physically, really the sky is the limit for him. He can do whatever he wants as long as he puts the work in. I have no doubt or question about his work ethic. He’ll find a way.”
Craig-Myers joins a talented group of newcomers at the position that includes Kyle Davis, Marquis McClain and Eli Stove.
“All of those guys are really talented players,” receivers coach Kodi Burns said. “We know how it goes. I don’t care where you come from, I don’t care how good you are in high school, once you get to college, it’s an entirely different ball game. As good as they were in high school, once they get here, we have to develop them.”
Craig-Myers fully expects a 1,000-yard season as a freshman, a rarity for freshmen at Auburn.
“Watching the spring game and talking to coaches, the players, they tell me all the receivers’ jobs are wide open,” Craig-Myers said in April. “Just come in and compete. I feel like if I go out there and do my best, I’ll have a shot to start in the first game.”