How many running backs does Auburn really need to get through the 2021 season?
Devan Barrett's departure gives the Tigers four scholarship running backs for the fall. Is that enough? Let's look at what the numbers tell us.
(Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics)
If there’s a single position group in college football that has been more affected by the transfer portal than Auburn’s running backs, that would be quite the accomplishment.
Nine months ago, the Tigers had Tank Bigsby, Shaun Shivers, D.J. Williams, Mark-Antony Richards and Harold Joiner as their scholarship running backs.
Joiner entered the portal in October and later chose to transfer to Michigan State. Williams and Richards joined him, both landing back in their home state of Florida, following the firing of Gus Malzahn as Auburn’s head coach.
The latest twist came after the hire of Bryan Harsin to replace Malzahn. Devan Barrett — a former running back who moved to defensive back and opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns — would return to the team and take up his old position to help the Tigers’ depth there.
Barrett joined Bigsby and Shivers as the only scholarship running backs on the team for spring practices. And balancing the workload…