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Tank Bigsby breaks out, draws Cadillac comparison

13 days ago
Jeff Shearer
Photo: Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics

The following story, written by Jeff Shearer, was originally published on

AUBURN, Ala. - When Tank Bigsby signed with Auburn last December, running backs coach Carnell Williams said, "He can do it all."

Making his first start in his third college football game, Bigsby did it all, all right, netting 268 all-purpose yards in No. 13 Auburn's 30-28 win Saturday vs. Arkansas, drawing Cadillac comparisons in the process.

"He's running like Cadillac Williams," said offensive lineman Alec Jackson. "He was being a tank today. He did his thing."

"Coach Cadillac, that's my man," Bigsby said. "He's in my ear, making sure I do everything right, on the field and off the field."

Regarding their similar running styles, Bigsby will let others opine.

"I just leave that up to other people," he said. "I really haven't seen Coach Lac play but I've seen some footage of him. I know he was a great player but we have a lot in common, on and off the field.

"I don't watch myself unless it's film. Of course, I'll be trying to beat all of his records."

Bigsby rushed for 146 yards on 20 carries (7.3 yards per carry), added 16 receiving yards on four catches, and returned four kickoffs for 106 yards.

"He broke tackles," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. "He ran extremely hard. That's what I saw. He bounced a couple out, he cut them back, ran some guys over, broke tackles, kept his legs moving and protected the football. I thought he did a good job."

Perhaps the only person Bigsby failed to impress was himself.

"It was all right," he said. "I could have done a lot of things better, pressing, being more patient, working on getting in the end zone, running the ball more physically. I'm just really glad we won. I'm okay with my performance, but down the road hopefully, I know it will get better."

Nothing Bigsby accomplished surprised Cadillac.

"He can run between the tackles. He's fast, big, can catch out of the backfield, is a willing blocker," Williams said on signing day.

The 6-0, 209-pound Bigsby ranked in the top five nationally at his position at Callaway High School in LaGrange, Georgia, scoring 27 touchdowns and rushing for 1,636 yards as a senior.

"The thing I love most about this young man, not only does he have really great talent, but he's a high-character guy," Williams said. "He's going to come in, work hard, he's selfless."

Bigsby surpassed the 100-yard mark in the first half on a 26-yard run where he started running to his left, found yards up the middle, then cut to his right for his biggest gain of the game. Like a veteran, he credited his blockers for creating running lanes.

"The O-line did very well today," Bigsby said. "They were in the trenches and they won. I just went out there, handled my business. I just thank the O-line and my team for being with me.

"I'm very hard on myself and expect more from myself. It was really good to have my first 100-yard game in college. Hopefully I have more to come."