Auburn running back Kamryn Pettway took the SEC by storm a year ago.
After not playing in Auburn’s opener vs. Clemson, Pettway entered the main stage in Auburn’s 51-14 victory over Arkansas State with 152 yards on just 15 carries. He did not stop there.
During a jaw-dropping four-week stretch that coincided with Auburn’s six-game winning streak, Pettway had 121 carries for 770 yards and six touchdowns. He averaged 6.3 yards per carry during that stretch and set a career-high with 236 yards at Ole Miss.
This season, Pettway has a bigger goal: break the Auburn single-season rushing record.
“My individual goal is to break the school rushing record,” Pettway said. “I know I got some big shoes to fill. But with hard work, I think I can get it.”
Former Auburn tailback Tre Mason holds the record with 1,816 yards in Auburn’s run to the national championship game in 2013. Former Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson held the record prior to Mason with 1,786 yards in 1985.
Junior running back Kerryon Johnson, Pettway’s partner in the backfield, said he is certain that Pettway can shatter Mason’s record this season.
“He didn’t play like half the LSU game, didn’t see the field at all Clemson game, barely played, had like 12 carries the Alabama game,” Johnson said. “You start looking into it, if you give him a full season, it could definitely happen. I hope it does. I really do.”
Pettway finished last season with 1,224 yards, good for 13th in Auburn single-season history. However, Pettway played in just nine games last season, missing three games due to injury.
“I think I’m capable of achieving a lot, more than I did last year,” Pettway said. “My goal this year is to stay healthy.”
After leading the SEC in rushing yards per game last season, Pettway flew under the radar compared to other SEC running backs during the preseason. The Montgomery native was selected to the Second Team All-SEC, with LSU’s Derrius Guice and Georgia’s Nick Chubb earning First Team honors. However, Pettway isn’t letting that bother him as he prepares for his junior season.
“I don’t let that get to me,” Pettway said. “Those are some good guys, some good running backs. I just do what I can to work and prove myself in the season.”
Auburn has elected for Pettway to avoid most contact during preseason practice to keep him fresh as the season nears. However, the 6-foot, 240-pound running back is ready for the contact that will come in Auburn’s season opener vs. Georgia Southern Sep. 2.
“Most definitely,” the physically-imposing running back said. “I’m ready.”