Quan Bray Hopes to Spark Tiger Offense

By Posted on: June 5th, 2013 in Football 6 Comments »
LSU-12-Auburn-10-Bray

It was evident to recruiters that the high school quarterback was an electric player, especially with the ball in his hands. And although he could run and throw – what he did best was bring a real spark to his team.  

That’s why he was listed as the nation’s No. 5 athlete by ESPN.com, named the nation’s No. 5 all-purpose back, rated as the No. 6 athlete in the nation by 247Sports, and the nation’s No. 16 running back by SuperPrep. 

Coming out of Troup County (Ga.) in 2011, the high school All-American rushed for 1,300 yards with another 300 receiving as a senior and had 2,128 yards and 28 TDs of offense as a junior.

As a freshman at Auburn, he backed up Trovon Reed at the slot position. When Reed went down with a shoulder injury in the Florida Atlantic game, Quan Bray moved into a starting role.

His promotion to starter had as much to do with his work ethic as with his ability. He worked hard to gain the trust of not only his coaches but his teammates as well.  His desire to be the best he can be and his attention to detail, is a fact that has been present since the day he arrived on campus.

His first year at Auburn, he appeared in 13 games, led the team in punt returns averaging 7.4 yards per return, and was third in kickoff returns – returning 10 kicks for 242 yards. It was an impressive first year for the four star athlete.

Yet, what was even more impressive was the way he overcame the tragic passing of his mother at the beginning of his collegiate career to become not only a productive player but a good student athlete. He certainly has had to overcome some of the biggest hurdles to play on The Plains and along the way he has taken on a role as one of the team leaders.

His sophomore year saw him become Auburn’s leading receiver and deep man on punt returns. In addition, he threw a 33-yard TD pass to Kiehl Frazier in the second quarter of the ULM game.

At 5’10″ and 180 pounds, he ‘s not the biggest in Auburn’s receiver corps but he may be the swiftest. Clocked at 4.4 in the 440, he has the ability to succeed in Onterio’ McCalebb‘s role of being a homerun hitter. The kind of guy that can spark the offense at just the right time.

If the QB can get the ball to him in open space, he can take it to the house just like Onterio was able to do. Having played quarterback in high school, wildcat QB for the Tigers, as well as receiver, punt and kickoff returner, he has the potential to be a impact player this fall. 

He relishes the role of being on the field in different positions. In a recent interview he said,” I’m looking forward to playing a lot of different roles. Just trying to be all over the field … be able to help my team and be a playmaker for the team.” 

When Gus Malzahn listed him this spring with the first team depth chart, the coach said, “Quan is one of those real versatile guys (with) running back skills. You’ll see us try to get the ball to him in space and let him do his thing.” In other words Bray can be an impact player providing a much needed spark.

And after last year’s anemic offense, the Tigers can use all the sparks they can get.

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  1. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Hope he has a break out year. With Bray, Trovon Reed, Jaylon Denson, Sammie Coates, Fulse and Uzomah, Auburn should have a good passing game.

  2. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ……I’m thinking you’ll see Bray as a wildcat QB this year, and he’ll sub in where Emory Blake used to in 2010. Basically they’ll try to work him in against a slower safety or linebacker. It looks like Trovon Reed has actually locked down that “Terrell Zachary” flanker spot. Bray will be in there with Reed, when they lift the H-back or tight end.

    …..One thing that will be different than before with the Malzhan O, is that when the offense runs in a package, the refs are supposed to hold up the snap, so the defense can substitute. This is going to require the Auburn brain trust to be a bit more creative with what they have on the field at the time on offense.

  3. buddy Ro buddy Ro says:

    I was thinking similarly… I am expecting a break out season from either Uzomah and/or Bray. Both these guys are really dynamic in completely different ways.

    I do think that there hasn’t been much hype surrounding Uzomah this offseason because there is a chance a much more significant role is going to him than any of us can imagine. This is a guy who made some really great plays late last year, and who is a complete mismatch for most in the redzone.

    Bray, on the other hand, has a really great burst… but has to be more decisive when he gets the ball. Acid’s got this one nailed. He is going to be the Blake of 2010. The beauty of Blake and how he filled that role is / was his decisiveness. Blake turned up field and always did a good job of not dancing too much. If Bray can find this role and use his speed smartly, I think he could be up there with Uzomah as one of the more significant NEW contributors. The place where Bray could break-out more than any on this Malzahn O is in the wildcat. He played QB in high school. Maybe he can turn dual threat… throw the screen to Uzomah, then Uzomah can hit Coates down field for the 1st Auburn TD of 2013. It would be interesting to see how many current AU roster players played QB in high school.

    Without a consistent and proven legit big arm QB,… I just can’t see Coates or Denson having the year that Uzomah and Bray could… and still,… Reed has so much to prove.

    Out of this bunch, we need a guy who has that special play confidence in him. We need a guy that has that mentality of wanting the ball to come his way every down.

    I think the AU offense could look a bit like the Ark St. offense we tangled with on wk 1 a couple years ago(2010?)… a well-paced dink and dunk show with a few bombs mixed in.

  4. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    5’10 @ 180 lbs and he sparking our offense? Tell me there is more to our offense!!!!!

    Oh God! This is the Lizard all over again…. like during the Bowden years. All Gus will need is a mouthful of gum!

    Sorry to be the condescending voice here. But this is absolutely ridiculous notion. Bray won’t make it against an SEC defense. He will be hurt after the first game unless he is used like McCalleb and only sparingly. Auburn needs BIG, FAST and durable. Anything less… and we are 6-6 or God forbid worse.

    WDE

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      Hey Wde’88, Good to hear from you again. Missed your input. Been on vacation?

      I have to agree that Auburn needs, “BIG, FAST and durable.” And you know I don’t usually try to defend my post. But … to address your concern about Bray’s ability to make “it against an SEC defense” being an “absolutely ridiculous notion.”

      I was trying to compare him to another small back who made an impact during his Auburn career … Onterio McCalebb, who was smaller than Bray at 5’10″ and 168 lbs

      Didn’t mean to suggest Quan could be an every down back. But that given the ball in space … his speed and elusiveness could (like Onterio) bring a spark at the right moment to the team.

      Remember McCalebb’s 70 yd. touchdown run against LSU in 2010 with 5 min to go in the game? That definitely electrified the crowd and sparked the team. There were other sparking plays to, like – against Ole Miss, when his 68-yard first quarter TD run gave AU a 14-7 lead, or his 99-yard kickoff return against Arkansas (6th longest in AU history), or his 3 touchdown day against Georgia, or when he led AU with 112 all-purpose yards in the Iron Bowl.

      As a freshman, Onterio was the first running back in school history to rush for 100-plus yards in his first two games and the fourth back to rush for 100-plus yards in consecutive games (joining Cadillac Williams (2001), Darrell Williams (1989) and Ron O’Neal (1981).

      In 2011 Onterio was second team All-SEC after setting an AU record for yards/carry with 8.5 yard average, was third on team in rushing yards (810) and second in rushing TDs (9), second on team with 1,123 all-purpose yards and third in total offense. Even after the horrendous 2012 AU offense, Onterio finished his career with a 6.37 YPC. At times he did have some injuries to deal with but he also finished his career as the 14th All-Time rushing leader at Auburn with 2,586 yards.

      Not bad stats for a 5’10″ 168 lb. football player in the toughest division in college football. So we’ll just have to disagree about the possibility of Bray being able to bring a spark at the right moment as being an “absolutely ridiculous notion.”

      Bottom line is we both want the same thing, “big, fast, durable players” that can beat the crap out of their opponents. I just happen to think there’s room for a speedster like a McCalebb or a Bray too.

      Thanks for giving your thoughts Wde’88.

      War Eagle

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..About 25 years ago, I remember a 5’8″, 180 pound back won the Heisman Trophy. Barry Sanders toted the rock at Oklahoma State 344 times that season, for 2628 yards and an astounding 37 touchdowns. That’s over 28 carries per game, 219 yards per game, and a ridiculous 7.6 yards per carry average.