Corey Grant sat on the sideline a year ago and watched Auburn produce the No. 78 rushing offense in the country. The lead back for Auburn was Tre Mason, but even Mason was used lightly throughout the season, earning less than 20 carries nine times.
As a transfer from Alabama, Grant was expected to be a major role player for the Tigers offense last year, but that never happened, and this spring there is a lot to prove for this rising junior.
Grant never got discouraged despite his lack of playing time and continued to work at his craft. He saw some playing time against New Mexico State and Alabama A&M, but special teams was where he made his biggest impact in 2012.
It is well known that Grant is a workout warrior, and it has made him one of the most physically imposing backs on the Tigers roster. His work ethic has already begun to build a reputation with the Tigers new staff.
In an interview with AuburnSports.com, new head trainer Ryan Russell mentioned Grant when talking about players already at the highest stage of his training routine.
Russell said that, “It's a championship attitude. You're going to see him in here on his off time. He's training his training partner. A guy like Corey Grant comes to mind.”
Corey Grant has the work ethic to be special.
And it shows.
While it clearly shows through his 5’11”, 205-pound frame, Grant also has track-star speed, finishing high school as the 100-meter and 200-meter champion in the state of Alabama.
Add that speed to his size and Grant is a Onterio McCalebb-type player with the weight to take hits and the burst to bust defenses.
McCalebb came into his own in the Gus Malzahn offense, finishing his career with over 2,000 all-purpose yards thanks to the system. If Grant can pick it up this season, then he'll become the next star in the speed sweep for Auburn.
The Tigers are in need of a player to take over the speed-back role in their offense.
Grant is that player.
He got lost in the offensive shuffle last spring and fall, but this year he will be in his element and in the Gus Malzahn scheme. This will be a breakout season for Grant.
He didn’t come to the Plains to sit on the bench.
Given the right opportunity and scheme, Grant could be a household name in the SEC before the end of the 2013 season.
And it all starts this spring, where every play will count as he competes for playing time.