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Another Summer, Another Auburn Quarterback Race on The Plains

By on May 7th, 2013 in Football 13 Comments »

       One thing is for certain about new Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall – He won’t be wearing        number “7.”

Spring Football is over on The Plains and just like the last six­­­­­ years the Tigers finished camp and head into summer with no clear leader at the quarterback position.

Gus Malzahn has said that Kiehl Frazier and Jonathan Wallace came out of spring practice without either one clearly separating themselves from the other. That fact leaves the door open for three promising recruits to make a run for the driver’s seat.

Since neither of the two veterans have taken hold of the position and made it their sole possession, speculation has grown that the starting quarterback is not yet on campus.

Of the three QB’s reporting this summer, multiple blog and media outlets suggest a majority of the fans expect the new starter to be Juco transfer, Nick Marshall.

Playing his junior college ball at Garden City Community College in Kansas, Marshall was heavily recruited by Nebraska, Baylor, Kansas State, and Texas. Some say Baylor was looking at Marshall to be the next RG III. He had plenty of offers but he made his decision to wear the Orange and Blue.

He picked the Tigers because he liked Gus Malzahn’s offense and because he was familiar with  Coach Malzahn who recruited him to Arkansas State and Dameyune Craig who recruited him for Florida State.

If you want your QB to have confidence, Marshall has tons. After inking his letter of intent, he said he knew there were two guys that played last year but he was coming to try to win the starting roll and (like Cam Newton) help Auburn win championships.

Marshall also has a story similar to Newton. After leaving Georgia for breaking team rules, he chose to go to a junior college to get both his personal and football life back on track. It was a move that (for his career) seems to have been a blessing in disguise. A cornerback at Georgia, he returned to being a quarterback in junior college.

He worked hard to improve his reputation, his academic standing, and his game. By all accounts he has been a model student athlete.

Nick was a two sport athlete in high school, who played in the state final four in basketball and led his Wilcox County, Ga. football team to a state championship. Mark Ledford, his hig­­­h school coach said he was the best athlete he had ever been around. When he was being recruited he drew comparison’s from recruiters to former Florida State star Charlie Ward.

During his one year at Garden City, Nick scored 37 touchdowns (19 passing and 18 running) accounting for more than 4,000 yards in 11 games.

On signing day, Coach Malzahn said, “He’s a great athlete … one of those impact players. We feel like he could come in here and give us a chance right off the bat.”

His Juco coach Jeff Tatum says Nick is exactly “the kind of quarterback you need to sign when you’re trying to turn a program around.”

Little wonder the Auburn fan base are looking with anticipation to him joining the program. Yet as impressive as he appears to be … he will be competing with four other highly touted signal callers.

It’s a list which includes veteran Kiehl Frazier who was Mr. Arkansas Football coming out of high school, Jonathan Wallace who took the starting reigns from Frazier last year and had the highest pass efficiency rating for a freshman in the history of the program, then there is Jeremy Johnson who is the present Mr. Alabama Football, and of course 4-star recruit Jason Smith, the MVP of the Alabama/ Mississippi High School All-Star game.

Rhett Lashlee spoke to the media last week and laid out what he and Malzahn will be looking for in picking their number one guy:

” We want a winner, a guy who’s athletic, got great accuracy … he’s got to be able to throw the deep ball well, get the ball out quick … Our offense from a quarterback’s standpoint is built on making good decisions, protecting the football, throwing on time and where you’re supposed to. It’s more about getting the guy who can execute what we do the way we like to do it the best (and) The best guy’s going to play, if he’s a freshman, if he’s a senior, it doesn’t matter.”

Is Nick Marshall that guy? He thinks he is, but so do four other talented players. So the stage is set for another summer and another quarterback race on The Plains.

Who will it be?

Who do you think will be Auburn's 2013 starting Quarterback?

  • Nick Marshall (67%, 438 Votes)
  • Jonathan Wallace (19%, 128 Votes)
  • Kiehl Frazier (7%, 44 Votes)
  • Jeremy Johnson (6%, 41 Votes)
  • Jason Smith (1%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 657

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  1. meanbass123 says:

    After the spring we had, I believe Nick Marshall is the guy. Super athletic and has a strong arm. I just hope and pray that Gus and Rhett can get this guy’s interceptions down, but they have done it before with a lot of quarterbacks that they have worked with. Only time will tell… WAR EAGLE!!!!

  2. Derrick Roberts Derrick Roberts says:

    I feel like Marshall’s interception total is a bit deceptive due to the fact that he carried a brunt of the offensive responsibility. He won’t have to shoulder that much at Auburn under Malzahn’s system.

  3. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..There’s little doubt Marshall’s going to win the poll! It’s kind of a corollary to the “backup quarterback is the most popular with the fans” idea. We saw the two incumbents on A-Day, and during last year’s debacle.

    …..Make no mistake, Marshall could win the job. He’s got the athletic tools. And evidently, much like Cam, he’s grown up a lot. I remember back in 2010, I wasn’t terribly impressed with Newton, pre-season. He looked big and tall, but I didn’t have any idea about his speed or elusiveness. Book on his arm was that it was strong, but he was wildly inaccurate at times. A-Day didn’t show much.

    …..Those who doubt Marshall will point to a lot of interceptions last season at Garden City. What we don’t know is why those happened. Was he forcing the ball? Was he coached to fire it in there no matter what on 3rd down? We don’t know. I’d have a better idea if I pored over a lot of game film. I hardly have time for that!

    ……So, I’m going to keep an open mind. It could be that Khiel Frazier and/or Jonathan Wallace takes their instruction from Spring, runs with it during summer workouts, and wows everyone in fall camp. Stranger things have happened.

    …..There were folks out there in the spring of 1993 that wouldn’t give you a plug nickel for Stan White’s passing ability after the 1992 season. He turned out looking pretty good with receivers who could actually catch the ball!

  4. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    Wow, it looks like we can throw talent at the qb position this year. It goes to show you how bad qbs want to play in this kind of system. So bad, that we arguably have the most raw talent at the position than we’ve seen…ever. I wouldn’t give up on Frazier and Wallace just yet. We don’t see the ‘tweeking’ that is going on behind the scenes in their progressions to become an SEC qb. New system, new coaches, new expectations… My bet is a couple of these prospects will develop at just the right time. And then I expect to see the rest transfer out. My money is on dark-horse, Tate O’Connor.

  5. DothanTiger DothanTiger says:

    Voted for Jonathan Wallace. Believe he has the tools and is a natural leader. Like Kiehl Frazier just like I did Kodi Burns but think it’s time he follows Kodi’s example and switches to another position. Also, read where Marshall had 20 interceptions last year. If he’s the guy, that has to be fixed.

  6. sullivan013 sullivan013 says:

    I voted for Wallace too, mainly on the intangibles I believe he brings to the table. Despite that first snap in the A-Day game, his actions on broken plays last year impressed me. He seems to have great awareness and is elusive under pressure.

    With that being said, I’m impressed with what I read about Marshall. I tend to favor Tommy Tuberville’s idea that good basketball players tend to do well on the football field. It’s an agility measure – one of the very reasons the sport was invented.

    Here’s hoping the coaches have a difficult decision in the fall for all the right reasons – an excess of talent in each player. WDE.

  7. uglyjoe says:

    I’ve got a philosophical question, and it might not make sense because I might not be wording it right, but….why would multiple, highly talented quarterbacks (3) all come to the same school at the same time, especially when there are already two incumbents in the system? Seems their goals would be to maximize playing time so they can move on to the next level, and if things go well for us, one of them will earn playing time, while the others either sit the bench or transfer, losing a year of eligibility in the process. Seems like a bad bet on their part….

    • sullivan013 sullivan013 says:

      The odds of making it to the NFL as even a five-star HS athlete are still incredibly long. Even multiple years of playing time at the top of the roster are no guarantee. How many QBs were chosen this year in the NFL draft? Out of how many graduating starting seniors of BCS eligible teams? The quality of the program and coaching staff is a much better measure of your chance for success, not the competition at any one position.

      If you avoid a school because of competition at any position, what does that say about your likely prospects beyond the college game? You either make it on your own no matter who else is in the running, or you’re likely not going to make it to the NFL anyway.

  8. Derrick Roberts Derrick Roberts says:

    Regardless of who the starting quarterback eventually is, I hope that Gus does not decide to make his wildcat package a huge part of this offense. As in, having a specific wildcat QB and a starting QB. We’ll have plenty of athleticism at the quarterback position regardless of who wins it, and the Malzahn wildcat relies heavily on the change-of-pace aspect it brings to the table. I just don’t see the wildcat package throwing off the opposing defense that much more than the regular HUNH if at all.

  9. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    I voted for Marshall partly because neither Wallace nor Frazier seem to have what it takes to lead a winning team in the SEC.

    Since I am picking Marshall let me elicit as many groans as possible with the following.

    There is a new Marshall in town and he is here to kick butt.
    Support your Local Marshall

    OK, all together now.

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      I hit golf balls again this passed weekend…in a drizzly rain in 50 degree weather. I get a gold star, right? I have made peace with my 7 iron, and struggled with my hybrid. I was most consistent with my 5 wood. I didn’t really jump around to other clubs. I’m still trying to get comfortable with my swing and making contact with the ball…..

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      Oh, and I voted for Marshall too, but I’m pulling for Wallace. He seems like a earnest kid and hard worker. I’m hoping that something clicks over the summer.

  10. AuburnEdS says:

    Said it before, I’ll say it again………..

    You don’t bring in JUCO skill players to sit on the bench