September 24, 2013

Deep impact

AUBURN | Corey Grant and Tre Mason each insist they're Auburn's fastest player, each tailback has a legitimate argument, but neither guy resembles another candidate for that celebrated designation: Sammie Coates.

Auburn's 6-foot-2, 200-pound wideout is the rare player with height, bulk and light-speed acceleration. There's more: Coates' 139-yard performance against LSU last weekend shows that he's no longer a freak athlete who lacks necessary refinement. He's a game-changing element right now and the sophomore doesn't see anyone anywhere playing the deep ball better.

"I think I am," Coates on Tuesday told a reporter who asked if he's the best when it comes to burning defenses deep. "They're trying to use me in different ways. I'm just going to keep working hard so I can be that go-to guy. Or it doesn't matter -- I just want to help the team win."

He's doing that.

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