Why Auburn football's Cadillac Williams wanted USF transfer RB Brian Battie

AUBURN — When Auburn football recruiting assistant Ty Holder showed Carnell "Cadillac" Williams some film on South Florida transfer Brian Battie, the running backs coach wanted to get him on campus.

And on Jan. 9, the Tigers landed a commitment from the 5-foot-8 playmaker out of the backfield.

"First of all, the speed, the explosiveness," Williams said of what impressed him about Battie. "But I love the fact that the first guy, he either made him miss or he broke the tackle. The first guy is never going to bring him down or tackle him. And then also, I know he's a smaller guy, but he's a natural runner between the tackles.

"Like he's a running back. He is a football player. He's a guy that understands leverage and angles. A guy that's going to break tackles. And he's strong, he's very competitive and he wants to be one of the best. We are getting a complete back that can do it all with him."

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Battie's father, Tommie, told the Montgomery Advertiser in January that Williams wants to get Battie more involved in the passing game. Battie caught 14 passes for 91 yards at South Florida in 2022.

"To me, that'd take our offense to a different level because now you can have a guy like that, put him in the slot or even bring him out the backfield where now he's matched up on guys he's more athletic than. He should win. ... So, if he can add that component ... he becomes even more valuable," Williams said.

Battie rushed for 1,186 yards and eight touchdowns in his junior season with the Bulls in 2022. He was also a consensus All-American kick returner as a sophomore, logging 650 yards and three scores on 20 returns.

Richard Silva is the Auburn athletics beat writer for the Montgomery Advertiser. He can be reached via email at rsilva@gannett.com or on Twitter @rich_silva18.

This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Brian Battie: Auburn football's Cadillac Williams wanted USF transfer