The Auburn Tigers have received a commitment from elite junior college running back Cameron Artis-Payne.
Artis-Payne is only a 3-star recruit according to 247Sports, but he's their No.1 JUCO running back recruit and their No. 35 overall junior college recruit, so this is a very big pickup for Gene Chizik and the Auburn program.
Justin Hokanson of AuburnSports.com reports on the commitment:
"I love Auburn University, I loved my visit, loved the coaches and am happy about committing to the Tigers," Artis-Payne told AuburnSports.com.
The 5-foot-11, 215-pound prospect pledged to the Tigers during a ceremony at his college on Thursday afternoon. Artis-Payne officially visited Auburn last weekend and received an offer in the process. He notified Auburn of his commitment on Tuesday night.
For all of the struggles the Tigers have had on the field this season, Chizik and his staff have done an excellent job with recruiting. Their 2013 class now stands at 18 commits with the addition of Artis-Payne, and it features three 5-star recruits in inside linebacker Reuben Foster, and defensive ends Carl Lawson and Dee Liner.
Artis-Payne is going to be a big part of this class and his impact will come on the offensive side of the ball.
He weighs in at 5'11'', 210 pounds and he runs a 4.5 40-yard dash according to Rivals.com. That means he has enough size to run between the tackles, but he's quick enough to outrun defenders for a long gain.
What I really like about Artis-Payne is that he's the kind of runner who can lower his shoulders and break tackles, but he can also use his speed, agility and quickness to make defenders miss. He displays excellent field vision and patience, which allows him to set up his blocks and gain extra yards. He's also a back that you can ask to leak out into the flats and have reliable hands on a swing pass or screen, and he has the elusiveness and agility to make defenders miss once he gets the ball.
Artis-Payne has good footwork and makes good cuts, and he has breakaway speed once he gets to the second level. He's constantly moving forward and moving his feet, which is a trait that coaches love to see in a running back.
These are very small details here, but notice how Artis-Payne sets up his blocks using his vision and footwork. He starts the run up the middle on a belly play (middle), but he notices a very small lane, as highlighted by the arrows. He's able to stick in his foot, and notice how you can really see how he's changing direction.
From there he's able to get through the lane, and below is a very good look of him moving forward, running his feet and breaking tackles. It's a blurry shot, but he's dragging at least two defenders with him.
These are small details and intangibles, but they often are the difference between good and great backs at the college level.
According to 247Sports, Artis-Payne has two seasons of eligibility left, and I have no doubt that he'll make an impact with for the Tigers with the time that he does have.
He's a very complete back, and he's a great commitment for Auburn.
Note: Cameron Artis-Payne's highlight clips via hudl.com