In a surprising turn of events, Auburn junior running back JaTarvious Whitlow has announced he will entering the ever popular NCAA transfer portal. According to members of Auburn Undercover, there have been some relational issues between Whitlow and the Tiger family. While this may come as a shock to others outside of the Auburn nation, those within heard rumblings of his impending departure. According to sources, the decision between the two is mutual.
JaTarvious "Boobee" Whitlow on Instagram. pic.twitter.com/YSMdyEOisB— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) February 5, 2020
Whitlow was a key piece to the Auburn offense the past two seasons. His exit creates quite a problem in the grand scheme of things for Gus Malzhan. As a starter for 11 games this past season, he accumulated 763 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. He also added 6 receptions for 106 yards. For his short career, the converted wide receiver rushed for 1,550 yards and 16 touchdowns. During his freshman campaign, JaTarvious garnered SEC All-Freshman honors. Wherever he should take his talents next, that team will have to miss out on his services for a full season due to being a non-graduate transfer.
So, where does this leave Auburn? The Tiger faithful are undoubtedly scrambling through the depth chart to find an answer. Hopefully, whoever the next man up will be can return the program to its accustomed 1,000 yard rushing output per season. During the previous two years, no Tiger running back has accomplished that feat. This broke a proud 10-straight seasons of achieving that mark.
Who remains in the Tiger backfield you ask? That would be DJ Williams, Mark-Antony Richards, and newcomer Tank Bigsby. Former Auburn legend and current running backs coach Cadillac Williams has compared Richards to former Tiger star Kerryon Johnson. That’s lofty praise from Williams that should create excitement for fans. Bigsby is a 4-star December signee who committed to Auburn in December. He was rated the nation’s 4th best running back. DJ Williams showed signs of promised throughout his freshman year in 2019. He’s a hard-nosed runner with a nice burst. Perhaps this spring, we and the Auburn family will have a clearer picture of what backfield will look like.
Gus Malzahn said Auburn "feels very good about the guys that we have" at running back even without JaTarvious Whitlow. Said Chad Morris will use them as receivers coming out of the backfield more.— Josh Vitale (@JoshVitale) February 5, 2020
I am a 2003 graduate from the University of Alabama with a degree in Exercise Science. While at the Capstone, I served as a student assistant with the head strength and conditioning coach of the Crimson Tide football team. I have competed in both powerlifting and bodybuilding for several years. In addition, I have served athletes and people through the arena of personal training. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I am a passionate fan of Alabama, but do not make other fan bases miserable because of it. College football has my heart first, but I cover all areas of sports. Follow me on Twitter: @justinriley7!