Welcome to the Onterio McCalebb postseason tour.
The super-speedy Auburn running back began his audition for pro scouts this week in practice for the Casino Del Sol College All-Star Game, which will be held Friday at Kino Stadium at 7 p.m.
McCalebb will move on to the inaugural Raycom College Football All-Star Classic in Montgomery, Ala., on Jan. 19, and then to the Texas vs. The Nation game in Allen, Texas, on Feb. 2.
McCalebb wants to get as much exposure as he can to show he has more than just a great time in the 40-yard dash; he says he finished it in 4.28 seconds the last time he tried.
“A lot of people know I can run. That’s my specialty — running fast,” McCalebb said. “My plan is to go the NFL Combine and run the fastest time.
“But I have hands, too. I’m not necessarily just a running back. I can play slot receiver.”
And his face lit up when asked about his return skills. He had two career kick returns for touchdowns, including a 100-yarder this season against Mississippi State (see below).
At 5-11, 173 pounds, McCalebb doesn’t have the size to the be an every-down back in the NFL, but let’s go back to that speed. He might be able to carve out a role as a returner and offensive specialist.
McCalebb is one of the most intriguing athletes in the Tucson game. He is fourth on Auburn’s career list for all-purpose yards with 4,566. He ran for 2,586 career yards, had 620 receiving yards and returned 53 kicks for 1,360 yards.
He said his former running backs coach at Auburn, Curtis Luper, asked him to play in the Casino Del Sol game because of East coach Houston Nutt. Luper and Nutt are good friends, McCalebb said.
“I decided it wouldn’t hurt to come out here,” McCalebb said. “This is the game I love. I can take my mind off everything and just come out here and play ball and meet new people.”
McCalebb won a national championship with the Cam Newton-led Auburn team in 2010, but he has had to watch rival Alabama take home the past two BCS trophies. That’s seven in a row for the SEC.
“It’s all about the SEC,” McCalebb said when asked about Alabama’s rout of Notre Dame in the BCS national championship game.
“I understand Auburn-Alabama have a rivalry, but Alabama had to represent for the SEC, and they brought the title back.”