Thursday, January 31, 2013
RB Mike Blakely leaving Auburn
By Edward Aschoff
Running back Mike Blakely is on the move again.
Almost two years removed from transferring from Florida only months after he enrolled, the redshirt sophomore is now leaving Auburn. Blakely, who figured to fit in well with new coach Gus Malzahn's spread offense, played sparingly for the Tigers last fall. He carried the ball just 33 times, but was third on the team with 153 yards.
Blakely's departure leaves Auburn with just two scholarship running backs -- Tre Mason and Corey Grant. Mason enjoyed a solid 2012, rushing for 1,002 and eight touchdowns. He also averaged 5.9 yards per carry. The every-down back figured to enter the spring as the Tigers' starter, but Blakely and Grant, who rushed for just 29 yards on nine carries in 2012, would have every opportunity to compete for the starting spot this fall.
Even with those two backs returning, the Tigers will enter spring practice pretty thin at running back. The good news is Auburn has signed junior college running back Cameron Artis-Payne, who is on campus and was one of the nation's best JUCO running backs this past fall.
Auburn is also looking to sign at least one more back on national signing day. Keep an eye on Johnathan Ford, who decommitted from Vanderbilt after visiting Auburn last weekend, Corneilus Elder, who is visiting Auburn, and Tarean Folston, who is currently committed to Notre Dame.