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December 11, 2013

Backfield switch

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. | Kamryn Pettway has been a featured back at the highest level of high school football, but he may fill a different role on the Plains.

The senior from Prattville High on Monday opened preparations for the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game at H-back. It was an unusual twist for Pettway, who stands six feet tall and weighs 225 pounds, but approached the assignment with an up-beat attitude.

He's become friends with fellow Auburn commit Racean Thomas and was willing to make some adjustments.

"That makes it a little tougher -- getting used to a different position and learning all these new plays and blocking schemes, too," Pettway said Tuesday afternoon. "I don't mind blocking, but I like running the ball the most. I like to have the ball in my hands as much as possible."

Pettway made the most of his chances at Prattville. He finished with 1,402 yards in 10 games this fall and scored 17 touchdowns for the Lions, who lost in the first round of the playoffs. Pettway finished with 1,126 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior.

Still, is he good enough to pull ahead of the other guys at Auburn?

Tre Mason is a Heisman finalist, sure, but he's a junior this season. He may or may not return next season. Auburn still has juniors Cameron Artis-Payne and Corey Grant in the system along with two Class of 2013 signees in Rudy Ford and Peyton Barber. Ford currently is stationed at defensive back, but could be moved back to offense during the spring.

Also, Thomas is a Rivals100 talent who may be able to break into the rotation as early as next season.

At H-back, though, Jay Prosch's college career will end in Pasadena. Walk-on Gage Batten appears to be the next in line there, but Pettway's background as a top-tier rusher could make him the more dynamic option.

What will happen?

Pettway, who recently was named the nation's top fullback prospect by Rivals.com, isn't sure.

"I don't worry about stuff like that," he said. "I'm going to get to Auburn and work for what I want. They told me that they're going to put the ball in my hands, but I'll play anywhere the coaches want me."

Thomas, for one, thinks the H-back experiment this season is more of an exploratory thing. Still, he thinks Pettway's strength could be a factor.

"He's a great back. They're trying him at H-back and I think he'd be a great H-back or running back," Thomas said. "He can do whatever."



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