Auburn Football Newcomers to Watch: No. 5

This series features Auburn football players who are expected to make their college debuts this fall with good chances to be significant contributors for the Tigers.

Auburn, Ala-- Coming in at No. 5 on our list of Auburn football players who have a chance to make an impact in their first season of collegiate game action is running back Corey Grant.

After spending one season at arch-rival Alabama, where he signed out of Opelika High in 2010, Grant transferred to Auburn as a walk-on.

Although he had to sit out one year because of NCAA transfer rules, the Opelika native was not discouraged and contributed where he could, spending last season on the scout team helping the defense prepare for opposing teams. For his efforts, the speedy tailback was named the Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year.

"He had a great year, not just a great spring," running backs coach Curtis Luper told Inside The Auburn Tigers. "During the season, he was on our scout team, scout team running back, played receiver for us, gave the defense a great look."

Luper said Grant had a great offseason and gained speed and strength working out under the supervision of head strength and conditioning coach Kevin Yoxall.

"He transferred all that onto the field," said Luper. "He had a good spring, and we expect a contribution from him on special teams immediately because he'll help us on special teams immediately and hopefully he can move in there on offense as well."

Corey Grant makes a run in Auburn's first spring scrimmage.

With the ability to be an offensive threat both as a rusher and receiver, the 5-11, 203-pound sophomore has the skills to break into a playing rotation that includes fellow running backs Onterio McCalebb, Tre Mason and Mike Blakely.

He displayed some of those skills in the A-Day game, rushing for 23 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.

Grant also made strides this spring picking up offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler's system, including in the less heralded aspects of the tailback position.

"He really protected the passer really well for us," said Luper. "He understands our protections and then he can execute it. He can step up and hit a linebacker in the mouth for us, which we haven't had since Mario Fannin left, so that's another benefit for him. He can help us on third down, and probably immediately."

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