Auburn center Reese Dismukes said on SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation Monday that Auburn running back Cameron Artis-Payne had the hot hand in practice and will probably earn the start against Arkansas.

“I think it’ll probably be maybe Cameron Artis-Payne that’ll probably start off with that (starting) role,” said Dismukes, as reported by the Montgomery Advertiser “I think coach Malzahn, these coaches do a good job of whoever’s hot is going to get the ball and they want the ball in that person’s hands.”

Artis-Payne, a Pennsylvania native who played two years at Allan Hancock Community College prior to transferring to Auburn last season, was fourth on the team in rushing last season with 614 yards. His production fell off toward the end of the season.

Artis-Payne and Corey Grant headed into fall camp neck-and-neck for the starting job. Artis-Payne is a physical, bruising back that can run between the tackles while Grant utilizes his speed last year to hit the edge and break outside. In an effort to win the starting job, Grant added weight to his 205 pound frame to show that he could be a between-the-tackles back as well.

RELATED: 2014 SEC Top 100 Countdown: No. 49 Cameron Artis-Payne, Auburn

Auburn has a stable of backs capable of playing this season but Gus Malzahn said earlier in fall camp that “he knows what he has” in Artis-Payne and Grant. The race for the starting job was between the two seniors and that “in a perfect world” two of three freshman – Peyton Barber, Roc Thomas and Kamryn Pettway – would also contribute.

Whether it is by committee or one back emerges, Auburn needs to replace Tre Mason’s productivity.  Mason finished last season with a team high 1,816 yards on 317 carries. As Dismukes stated, Auburn goes with the hot back at the time. Right now that is Cameron Artis-Payne. That could change based on what happens in the early part of the season. In the first three games of 2013, three different players led Auburn in rushing attempts. It was the fourth game against LSU when Mason emerged. He carried the ball 26 times for 134 yards. Artis-Payne rushed 7 times for 41 yards while Grant touched the ball just twice for 9 yards.