A verbal commitment since early in November, Artis-Payne should join with Tre Mason to give the Tigers a solid one-two punch at running back in 2013.
"I'm excited to be officially signed with Auburn University," Artis-Payne tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "It's a big day for me."
Setting school records this season for rushing yards with 2,048 and rushing touchdowns with 25, Artis-Payne is a physical runner who was looking for an opportunity to play early.
Even though Auburn made a change in coaching staff after he committed, he said once he got to talk with Malzahn and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee he was fired up about the future on the Plains.
"It was a big deal for me to get a feel for Coach Malzahn and Coach Lashlee and what they wanted to do with the offense and where I could fit in the offense," Artis-Payne said. "After speaking with them it put my mind at ease about what I wanted to do and how committed I was to being an Auburn Tiger."
In two seasons at Allan Hancock, Artis-Payne has shown the ability to be a durable back who can grind out yards. For his career he ran for school-record 3,412 yards and scored 43 touchdowns on the ground. With that kind of production he was looking for an offense that fit his style of play and he said the more he learned about Malzahn the better the offense looked to him.
"It was really big for me," Artis-Payne said. "When Coach Malzahn first got hired all I was hearing was spread offense. Once I talked to him and he broke it down that it's a downhill running scheme and how he's a big advocate of running the football. After that I had no more worries about the offense."
Artis-Payne said he plans to report to Auburn on January 7th. He will go through spring practice with the Tigers. The running back has two years of eligibility remaining and he has not been redshirted.