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Five Auburn Players Poised to Have a Breakout Year on Offense

By on July 24th, 2013 in Football 12 Comments »

It’s just 38 days till kick off for the Auburn Football Team. After the disastrous 2012 season, the Tigers enter 2013 with a lot of new faces along with a lot of questions.

Perhaps the biggest of which is how much can the Tiger offense rebound from last year’s 13th place SEC finish in total offense.

With an entire new coaching staff along with new offensive and defensive schemes, there will be plenty of opportunities for players to have a breakout year.

This week we will look at five players from the offense who I believe are poised to make a big impact. Next week we will look at five defensive players that could be very important in turning things around on The Plains.

Here are five offensive players that are set to have a breakout season heading into 2013:

 * C.J Uzomah, Tight End/H-back

AUBURN FOOTBALLA versatile player, Uzomah was recruited as a wide receiver and then moved to tight end during the spring of 2012. He got his chance last year when he had to replace an injured Phillip Lutzenkirchen. C.J. caught seven passes for 136 yards and a touchdown while showing some of the moves that his mentor Lutz had displayed over the previous three years.

In fact, he looked a lot like Lutz on the field. Phillip said he wasn’t surprised, because he expects C.J. to really open some eyes in 2013. That has already started to take place as Uzomah was named last week as one of 37 tight ends on the Mackey Award preseason watch list which recognizes the nation’s top tight end.

  * Trovon Reed, Wide Receiver

Reed, a junior, was one of the most highly recruited receivers in his recruiting class. Yet he has not had the success that everyone expected of him primarily due to a number of injuries. He only has 30 career receptions but he’s healthy now and will be playing in an offense that suits his skill set.

Malzahn says, “The good thing about Trovon is he understands our system. He’s been in it, so this is a year that will be very critical for him, I’ve got very high expectations for him. I think it’s (his) time.”

  * Jaylon Denson

, Wide receiver

AUBURN FOOTBALLThe Auburn receiving corps has a lot of unproven players this year. But Denson has been a pleasant surprise. Although he only has one career reception for 12 yards, he earned a starting role in the spring. One big thing in Jaylon’s favor is his ability to block as a receiver – an important commodity in the Malzahn offense.

You can bet Denson will see a lot more passes thrown his way in 2013. Those that doubt him only need to remember Darvin Adams and Terrell Zachary who caught a combined five passes before Malzahn came to The Plains and yet the two combined for 181 catches for 3,042 yards and 26 touchdowns their last two years.

  * Cameron Artis-Payne, Running Back

Although, Tre Mason is the returning starting running back, Artis-Payne showed during the spring what he is capable of bringing to the offense. Cameron has a great combination of size and speed. He rushed for 117 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries (for 6.5 yard average) and caught two passes for 47 yards in the Spring Game, earning him MVP honors.

After rushing for 2,048 yards and 25 touchdowns last season at Allan Hancock Junior College, he definitely raised eyebrows and expectations with his A-Day performance. Auburn quarterback Jonathan Wallace said, “Cameron is special. He’s going to open up a lot of eyes this fall and … a lot of good things will happen for him.”

 * Nick Marshall, Quarterback

nickmarshall_display_imageI know what some are thinking with this choice … How can you pick a new guy over two veterans? After all Jonathan Wallace enters the season as last year’s starter and Kiehl Frazier probably knows Malzahn’s offense better that any player on the roster.

Well my heart says Wallace is the man but my head says it will be Marshall. Besides, Juco quarterbacks are not usually brought in to sit the bench. Malzahn and Lashlee have made it clear that the job is still open. But as soon as Marshall gets a grasp of the offense, I believe he will be given the keys. That may or may not be before August 31.

During his one year at Garden City, Nick scored 37 touchdowns (19 passing and 18 running) accounting for more than 4,000 yards in 11 games.

His Juco coach Jeff Tatum said Nick is exactly “the kind of quarterback you need to sign when you’re trying to turn a program around.” And when he was signed, Coach Malzahn said, “He’s a great athlete … one of those impact players. We feel like he could come in here and give us a chance right off the bat.”

If Malzahn comes through as he has in eight seasons as a college coach and produces another record setting quarterback … then that QB will truly be “The” Breakout player of the year.

Which Auburn offensive player do you think is most likely to have a breakout year?

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  1. Todd92 Todd92 says:

    I had a hard time choosing between CAP and CJU… I couldn’t choose Marshall because I think he’s not even a shoe in at QB. Whoever wins the QB battle will have a breakout year obviously and I put the percentages about equal between JW, KF, and NM with JJ having a smaller chance… If I had to give an edge to anyone it would be JW because of his intelligence and his work/study ethic.

  2. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Uzomah. Folks will key on the running backs till we prove we can improve over last year’s passing attack. No one could cover Uzomah last year, and when he got the ball he was a huge threat.

    • Todd92 Todd92 says:

      That was ultimately my choice…. People forget Uzomah was brought in as a WR and has better pass catching skills than most TE’s his size. He will be a mismatch for everyone we play with no exception. I hope we ca develop a QB to take advantage of it.

  3. DothanTiger DothanTiger says:

    I voted for D’haquille Williams the new five star juco 6 foot, 3 inch wide receiver. I believe he may wow us. Second,I would vote for Jonathan Wallace, the kid’s a leader.

  4. War Eagle_18 War Eagle_18 says:

    How do you define “Breakout”? I think they all will have a “Breakout” season. They were all recruited for this type of offense and I don’t think they are going to disappoint. JW is a great person, has a great work ethic, and is physically tough, but his instincts are not on par with running this type of offense. He will be the #2 QB.

    Remember Kodi Burns………

    CJ, Jaylon, Ricardo, Cameron, Tre, Corey, Nick, and Jay are going to be the ballers this season. Sammie will be included in this lineup if he gets his act together(inconsistent).


  5. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    If Nick Marshall picks absorbs the playbook quickly, I think it will be him. If not, it will have to be one of the RBs, probably Artis-Payne. Without a QB, no receiver will stand a chance to produce.

  6. KungFuPanda9 KungFuPanda9 says:

    Jay Prosch has a break out season with three touchdowns in the red zone. He will run two in and he will catch a pass ala Lutzenkirchen, sadly, without the dance.

  7. XO4AU says:

    Prosch is my favorite player on this year’s team, I”ve completely lost all hope that Trovon Reed will even remotely have a decent season. I want to see Sammie Coates play well, that kid is an athlete.

    • Todd92 Todd92 says:

      Uh Trovon was hurt his freshman year… And who can blame him for not catching passes that were never thrown last season? A little quick to give up on him IMO. That Jason Campbell guy will never make a good QB either.

  8. auburnb says:

    it would have to hope it was a quarterback first and i think nick marshall has the most potential for this season

  9. […] conference breakout performances in the upcoming season. Last week here at Track ‘em Tigers we took a look at five players from the offense who I believe are poised to make that type of impact. This week we look at five defensive players […]