Kam Martin is the name on Auburn’s offense that everyone is buzzing about these days. That might surprise some people considering the injection of Malik Miller into the equation. Either way, both players will have a notable impact on the college football national championship odds.
Though, Malik Miller is rightly the star because he is actually the known quantity of the pair. Coming out of Madison Academy in Alabama, Malik committed to Auburn before his senior year.
The commitment was only verbal but it drew excitement in the summer, with Malik becoming one of Auburn’s nine early enrollees in January. There was some doubt surrounding Malik because he didn’t exactly put his best foot forward in the spring.
However, that can be imputed to an injury on A-Day; and, like any sports athlete of note, the disappointing performance is only going to motivate Malik to strive even harder in the coming months.
Malik has the support of Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn who is impressed with the massive improvements Malik has made between spring and fall. Based on Gus’ assessment, Malik seems to be a faster, leaner player and he seems to be more confident when it comes to asserting himself in those physical aspects of the game. Confidence is an important aspect of a young player’s growth.
People have compared Malik to Kerryon Johnson; Malik has the potential to make the same contributions to the team as Johnson this fall. And according to Gus, Malik made very effective use of the training camp, ensuring to acclimate to the team dynamic, especially the offense. There is no reason to presume that Malik will somehow stumble, especially if Gus gives him room to stretch and grow.
The more interesting consideration here is Martin; he just might be the spark Gus is looking for to add some versatility to the team. A former Baylor Signee, Martin was lucky enough to receive a positive response when he requested to be allowed out of his letter of intent this summer.
Martin had already developed a bit of a relationship with Auburn by this point, so he reached out to their staff to see if they would be willing to have him. Martin came in contact with Auburn staff during the 2016 recruiting cycle.
This was after Art Briles lost his position as a coach with Baylor. Gus has every reason to be excited about Martin and his resume, which includes 3,500+ total yards and 44 touchdowns.
Martin is definitely the sort of weapon Gus would love to have in his arsenal. Martin was a little late in joining the team. That means he is a little behind his fellow freshmen colleagues, but he has shown a willingness to work hard to catch up.
Gus likes him because he is such a tough player. He easily stands out and has shown a willingness to step up despite the challenges involved. That level of courage is important to Gus and Auburn.
Martin has earned the admiration of running backs coach Tim Horton who expressed appreciation for his speed and acceleration. Naturally, Martin won’t make an immediate impact on the team, and the coaches will be expected to show some patience as he acclimates to the team.