August 27, 2009

McCalebb ready to burst into the limelight

At this time last week, Onterio McCalebb was in the midst of a battle with Eric Smith for the backup tailback position.

Now, with Smith's legal troubles and his ambiguous standing with the team, McCalebb seems to be the team's unquestioned No. 2 at the position.

McCalebb will provide Auburn with more of a true change-of-pace back when Ben Tate comes out of the game. Tate is considered more of a grinder - someone who battles for every yard. Smith is a power back, more likely to lower his shoulder than juke a defender. Even Mario Fannin is more of a power back than he is a scat-back.

Conversely, McCalebb's game is predicated mostly on his game-changing speed.

"You're going to have to get ready for his speed when you see him in the game," linebacker Craig Stevens said. "Ben and Mario, they're more power and they're still elusive with it, but Onterio, he's just straight speed and you'll have to get ready for that."

Stevens went on to say McCalebb is the fastest back he's seen since at Auburn since joining the program in 2006.

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