Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn football got good news with the return of linemen Carl Lawson and Montravius Adams on the defensive line, but the offense took another blow on Monday when junior running back Peyton Barber announced his plans to forego his final two years of eligibility with the Tigers and put his name in the NFL Draft for 2016.
"I have decided to forego my eligibility at Auburn and enter the 2016 NFL Draft. This was a very tough decision for many reasons but after my family and I prayed about it, I know I am ready for the next step and that this is the best decision for me. Auburn is a special place and having the opportunity to play football at Auburn has been a dream come true.
"I am close to graduating, so I will continue to work towards my degree even as I pursue my dream to play in the NFL. I would like to thank all of my coaches and all of the support staff at Auburn, especially Coach (Gus) Malzahn, Coach (Rhett) Lashlee and Coach (Tim) Horton. Thank you to all of my teammates as well. Lastly, thank you to the best fans in the world! I will always be an Auburn Tiger. War Eagle!"
Playing very little in 2014 after redshirting his first year at Auburn, Barber had a breakout season for the Tigers as a sophomore when he ran for 1,017 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Tigers on 238 carries. Barber had five 100-yard games for the Tigers, including 147 yards and five touchdowns in a win over San Jose State.
With Barber gone the Tigers will return three running backs with experience, including second-leading rusher Jovon Robinson, Roc Thomas and Kerryon Johnson. Robinson ran for 639 yards in just eight games with three touchdowns while Thomas and Johnson combined for 469 yards and four scores.
A pair of Auburn redshirt junior offensive tackles, Shon Coleman and Avery Young, had previously announced they are entering the 2016 NFL Draft.