Stallworth Enjoying His Role With Tigers

Freshman wide receiver Travante Stallworth talks about his play this season and what it's like to play for Gus Malzahn.

Auburn, Ala.--While DeAngelo Benton, Emory Blake and Anthony Gulley got much of the preseason talk from the younger wide receivers, it has been Travante Stallworth that has provided more of a spark for Auburn's offense so far in 2009.

Used very little the first three weeks of the season, Stallworth has made several nice plays in recent weeks and has two catches for 21 yards in limited action. Saturday night Stallworth and the Tigers made their first road trip of the year to Tennessee, defeating the Volunteers 26-22.

While not putting up huge numbers, the Leesville High (La.) standout had one carry for 10 yards early in the game on a trick play designed to keep Tennessee's defense off balance. Stallworth said that's one of the reasons why playing for the Tigers is so enjoyable this season.

"It was fun," Stallworth said. "It was something new, my first away game as a college player. It was exciting.

"I was ready for that play," he added. "We were supposed to run it last week, but we didn't get to it. It's just a little play Coach (Gus) Malzahn drew up. He's been doing this for years. He knows what works. It worked even though the corner ran it off after a second. It was still a big play."

Malzahn's influence and style of offense is something that wound up being a big part of the reason why Stallworth remained with Auburn after the departure of Tommy Tuberville and his staff. Being recruited by Malzahn when he was still at Tulsa, Stallworth said not only has the offense lived up to the hype, it has been even better.

"It's probably even more than what I thought," Stallworth said. "He recruited me when he was at Tulsa and he told me things. I was anticipating getting here to see if it was really true. He does so much and it's really exciting."

Part of what makes Malzahn's system so exciting is the number of different ways players touch the ball. In five games this season 10 different players have carried the ball, three different players have thrown passes, and 11 different players have caught passes.

"It's real exciting and fun," Stallworth said. "I can get the ball in this offense in so many ways. He might have me at one position one week and then another position the next week. It's real exciting and fun that he can get so creative with everything and move everybody around."

Almost to the halfway point of his freshman season, Stallworth said that he's becoming more and more comfortable in the offense and with the speed of the game on this level. He noted while he hopes to continue to become a bigger part of things, his only goal is to keep piling up the W's.

"It's fun just because they have confidence in me handling the ball," Stallworth said. "Hopefully it keeps going and I keep getting touches and we keep winning. The other guys are still doing great. As long as we're winning I'm not going to have a problem with it."

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