Replacing departing CFB stars

A look at seven college football teams well-positioned to replace key players

Updated: January 15, 2014, 1:51 PM ET
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider

Cameron Artis-PayneAP Photo/Dave MartinAuburn RB Cameron Artis-Payne will help fill the void left by star rusher Tre Mason.

For the third year in a row, there are a record number of collegiate players declaring early for the NFL draft. When those defections are added to the departing seniors going to the draft, it can make for a difficult transition for teams having to replace those players.

Having noted this, some college football teams are better situated to absorb these losses, and in some cases may actually see an improvement with the new personnel.

Here's a look at seven teams well-positioned to replace departing stars.


Auburn Tigers


Departing: RB Tre Mason
Replacements: RBs Corey Grant and Cameron Artis-Payne

Mason was one of the best players in the SEC during both the regular season and bowl season, and is wisely using that momentum to pursue an NFL career.

As great as Mason was, the metrics indicate Auburn actually could end up with an equally great backfield in 2014 in the form of Grant and Artis-Payne.