McCalebb To Return For Senior Season

Onterio McCalebb becomes the second key returner for the Auburn Tigers as the junior announces he's returning in 2012.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn junior running back Onterio McCalebb joined tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen with some good news for the Tigers as on Tuesday the Fort Meade, Fla., native said he will return for his senior season. A second-team All-Southeastern Conference selection this season, McCalebb was Auburn's second leading rusher and receiver in 2011 with 641 rushing yards and five touchdowns on the ground while catching 32 balls for 344 yards and two scores.

"I talked to a lot of people and it was a hard decision, but I love Coach (Gene) Chizik and our coaches like they are my father, and I love my teammates," McCalebb said. "I'm looking forward to coming back for my senior season to make myself a better player and to help my teammates win football games for Auburn and the Auburn family."

McCalebb scores against Samford

A key part of Auburn's offense and special teams, McCalebb's return is big news for the Tigers because he plays so many roles for the team. In addition to his rushing and receiving numbers he returned 11 kickoffs for 338 yards and a touchdown in 2011. For his career he has 837 yards on just 30 attempts (27.9 yards per attempt). Chizik said McCalebb's return is big for the program.

"I'm excited to have Onterio returning for his senior season," Auburn head coach Gene Chizik said. "He is really focused on having a great senior year and providing leadership for our team this coming season."

McCalebb, who was named the Offensive MVP of the Chick-fil-A Bowl after rushing for 109 yards and a touchdown on just 10 carries and adding two catches for 53 yards and another score, lead Auburn with 101.8 all-purpose yards per game this season and his 32 receptions were the second-most in school history for a running back.

He will head into his senior season 15th on Auburn's career rushing list with 2,016 yards and is ninth in career all-purpose yards with 3,341. McCalebb needs just 320 yards rushing to move into the Top 10 all-time at Auburn for yards gained on the ground.

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