NumerAUlogy - 82 Days

Monday, June 14, 2021

NumerAUlogy - 82 Days

Auburn v Arkansas
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Big Play Melvin Ray

Over the years, we’ve done different countdowns to kickoff (or tipoff). This year, we’re putting a twist on the classic “Best Auburn Player to Ever Wear Each Number” list. Football is all about lighting up the scoreboard in 2021, so let’s take a walk down memory lane and review the last time a player in each uniform number put up points.

#82 - Melvin Ray, WR

Game - Auburn at Arkansas, October 24th, 2015

Melvin Ray was one of my favorite players on the early Gus Malzahn Auburn teams. Ray had been an Alabama commit in the 2008 class, but was also drafted in the 33rd round of the MLB draft that summer. Ray pursued baseball for three seasons before being cut in 2011, when he decided to go back and try his hand at college football.

Ray was never a major contributor on the stat sheet, but he seemed to make big plays all throughout his career. His final trip to the endzone came in a game we’d all rather forget, the 2015 four-overtime-loss at Arkansas.

After a back and forth game where Auburn leaned on Peyton Barber for 37 carries and four touchdowns, Gus dialed up an old favorite for the a two point conversion in the top half of the third overtime.

Does this look familiar?

Here’s a hint - Ray is lined up as a down tight end at the top of the offensive line presnap.

The surge in single digit receiver numbers over the last few years has come at the expense of players wanting a number in the 80’s. Thus, you see a lot of walk-on’s donning numbers in the 80’s. In 2021, we’ll see senior walk-on tight end Hayden Brice in #82. He had a productive few years at Pearl River CC before making his way to Auburn last year, but didn’t see any game action and likely won’t this year either.

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