McCalebb Excited About His Role In Offense

Freshman running back Onterio McCalebb talks about Saturday's scrimmage and his role in the offense.

Auburn, Ala.--One of the question marks surrounding the Auburn Tigers for 2009 is who will step up as a playmaker for the offense? While several names have the ability to do just that, true freshman Onterio McCalebb showed glimpses of that ability in the second spring scrimmage on Saturday with a couple of big plays.

"I had a couple of big runs," McCalebb said. "I thought I was going to get to the end zone. I got a little hamstring problem that slowed me up, but by Saturday I'll be fully recovered and ready to roll."

Offensively it wasn't a great scrimmage as the Tigers had several miscues and were beaten by the defense in the modified scoring system employed by coach Gene Chizik. Still, McCalebb said they made some strides in the running game in his estimation.

"I think today went really good," McCalebb said. "Coach wanted us to go out and be physical. That's the only thing we wanted to do. Everything went pretty good. The offense played hard. The defense played hard. Everybody gave it their all."

Onterrio McCalebb

In Gus Malzahn's offensive system, several different players are used as offensive weapons. Last season at Tulsa nine different players rushed for at least 100 yards for the season and wide receiver Damaris Johnson was one of the most versatile of those players with 53 receptions and 320 rushing yards. McCalebb said that is one of the things he hopes to do is be versatile for the Tigers next season.

"It's wonderful," McCalebb said. "I get the ball as a running back and out of the slot. I just like to run around the field. Most of the time when I'm moving people don't know if I'm getting the ball. They don't know if it's a fake or if I'll wind up running a route. It's fun."

Playing a little bit of everything for the Tigers, McCalebb is listed as a running back and will get most of his snaps there. With senior Ben Tate returning along with junior Mario Fannin and sophomore Eric Smith, Auburn has plenty of options at the position and McCalebb said he's just trying to learn as much as possible and find his way into the rotation.

"Right now I don't really know where I stand," McCalebb said. "Everybody is rotating. After the spring we'll know who will be where. Right now we're just rotating and getting the plays down and getting used to the offense."

Not lacking confidence to go along with blazing speed and the ability to make people miss in the open field, McCalebb said everything is beginning to fall into place and it's making him excited about his possibilities in the offense.

"It feels wonderful," McCalebb said. "Once everything starts clicking that's when I'm on a roll. Once I'm on a roll I feel like nothing can stop me."


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