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COLLEGE FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: Auburn hires OL coach, signs top JUCO RB; Gators land record-setting N.C. quarterback

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn’s Gus Malzahn hired J.B. Grimes on Wednesday to coach the offensive line.

Grimes has more than 30 years of college experience and held the same post for Malzahn last season at Arkansas State.

Malzahn called Grimes “a tremendous coach who is one of the nation’s top teachers at the offensive line position.”

Grimes’ most recent posts before Arkansas State included stints at Kansas (2010-11) and Mississippi State (2004-08). He also has worked at East Carolina, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech and Arkansas among other stops.


Tigers sign top JUCO RB Artis-Payne

AUBURN, Ala. — Junior college running back Cameron Artis-Payne has signed to play for Auburn next season.

Tigers coach Gus Malzahn announced the signing of the 5-foot-11, 220-pounder on Wednesday. Artis-Payne spent the past two seasons at Allan Hancock Community College in Santa Maria, Calif. He’ll be eligible for spring practice.

He rushed for 2,048 yards and 25 touchdowns in 10 games last season.

Artis-Payne led the California Community College Athletic Association in rushing yards, yards per game, yards per rush and touchdowns.

He gained 1,364 yards and ran for 18 touchdowns as a freshman.

The Tigers return leading rusher Tre Mason and reserve Mike Blakely next season. No. 2 rusher Onterio McCalebb is gone from a thin backfield.

Auburn ranked ninth in the SEC in rushing with 148.4 yards per game.


Gators land star N.C. quarterback

DAVIDSON, N.C. — Junior quarterback Will Grier, who threw for a national record 837 yards and had 10 TD passes in a 104-80 North Carolina state playoff win last month, will be a Florida Gator.

Chad Grier, Will’s father and Davidson Day football coach, said Wednesday his son “feels so strong about it that he is ready to commit now so he can focus on his schoolwork, improving his game and helping his team prepare for a third consecutive state championship.”

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound QB trimmed his choice to five schools before choosing the Gators over North Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina State and Oregon.

A 2012 AP All-State selection, Grier threw for 5,785 yards and 69 touchdowns with six interceptions this season. He also carried 95 times for 813 yards and eight TDs.