- Tom Luginbill, ESPN Staff Writer
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— Jake Wright (@JakeWright30) October 29, 2013
Simply put, yes, I believe Racean Thomas (Oxford, Ala./Oxford) will make an impact as a freshman. This is a huge need position for the Auburn Tigers from both a depth and talent standpoint. While Tre Mason and Cameron Artis-Payne are quality guys, they are not elite players at the position. We believe Thomas could be an elite guy in time.
What Gus Malzahn wants in his backfield are two very different types of backs. They want a load-carrier with power, speed and explosiveness who possesses the necessary measurables to be counted on in an every down capacity. They also want a scatback type to offset the load carrier (an Onterio McCalebb-type). This player is the change-of-pace guy that is their perimeter runner. We believe Thomas fits into half of this equation.
More importantly than whether he makes an impact or not is the fact that he goes to Auburn, not Alabama. It's an in-state coup that is very important for Auburn’s program when it comes to winning in-state battles with the big dog to the West. Thomas is a player you can build an offense around.