Panthers Pick Auburn Running Back Artis-Payne

Cameron Artis-Payne was selected in the fifth round of the NFL Draft.

Cameron Artis-Payne, a first team All-SEC running back, was selected on Saturday in the fifth round of the National Football League Draft by the Carolina Panthers. He was the 174th overall pick.

A transfer from junior college, Artis-Payne rushed for 610 yards on 91 carries in 14 games his first season at Auburn for the 2013 SEC champions. He scored six touchdowns and started one game.

With Tre Mason gone to the NFL in 2014, Artis-Payne rushed for 1,608 yards on 303 carries. He scored 13 touchdowns while averaging 127.3 yards per game. He also caught 13 passes for 147 yards as a senior.

Fourteen running backs were selected ahead of Artis-Payne, which is motivation to show what he can do. "I'm out to prove a lot of people wrong," he said. "With how I worked to get here, I really don't think there are too many people that have the drive and desire that I do to be great."

Artis-Payne said he likes the opportunity he sees on Carolina's roster. "I feel like this is a great situation," he said. "They have a great running back in Jonathan Stewart and some very talented guys on the roster behind him as well, but it's a great spot, because they run the ball and you have a guy like Cam (Newton) operating the offense."

From Harrisburg, Pa., the running back gained 1,364 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns as a freshman at Alan Hancock College in California. He boosted his numbers to 2,048 yards and 25 touchdowns as a junior college sophomore.

He measured in at 5-9 3/4 at Auburn’s pro day in March and said his two years with the Tigers were rewarding. "I had a great experience at Auburn, and I wouldn't trade it for the world," Artis-Payne said.

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