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From Six to Three – Auburn Quarterback Depth Suffers Another Hit

By on May 8th, 2017 in Football, News 9 Comments »

Woody Barrett was the nation's No.6 dual-threat quarterback coming out of high school. (photo: Julie Bennett/

Auburn started the spring with six scholarship quarterbacks. Today, that number is down to three as redshirt freshman Woody Barrett announced he would be be transferring. Frankly, the move was not unexpected in some circles, including here at Track ’em Tigers.

After he received only six reps in the spring game and true freshman Malik Willis played most of the second half, there were questions about how long he would wait for a shot at starting. Then when Gus Malzahn said Barrett was fourth on the depth chart, the question became not if he would transfer but when. He’s the second QB to transfer this spring. Tyler Queen made the same move in March.  

It’s a sad fact of today’s college football world that coordinators have a difficult time trying to keep all their quarterbacks happy. It’s a truism that those who play the position want expect to start. When it looks like they will not get the opportunity to be the starter soon enough or have to wait too long, they transfer.  

This leaves only Jarrett Stidham, Sean White, and Willis in the position. Sources say Willis would most likely have been redshirted since he only played the position two years in high school and needs a year to develop.

However, should Stidham and White go down with injuries, Willlis might be the starter and have to learn on the job. Either that or move John Franklin III back to quarterback. Hopefully there will be no injuries at the position in 2017.

As for Woody, we wish him well wherever he lands.


  1. sparkey sparkey says:

    It’s not a hit. Barrett couldn’t learn the playbook. Either that, or he wouldn’t do the work necessary to learn it. The point with either case being the reality is that he wouldn’t have been any help for us this season again. It’s Gus’s fault for not getting guys who pan out at the most important position. He has done an absolutely pitiful job of evaluating quarterbacks out of high school. Fortunately, one has been pretty good and the starter this season is yet another kid who transferred here.

    When you don’t see really good quarterbacks fall into Gus’s lap, he has a bad season. It is telling how much he has had to depend on transfers.

    • Zach Taylor Zach Taylor says:

      The quarterbacks under malzahn saga continues. We have debated about his ability to develop and evaluate. Now we are talking about just keeping these guys on campus. What gives?

      At least a juco starter nearly ensures 10 wins.

      • DBAU81 says:

        The discussion about Malzahn's evaluation of high school QBs is legitimate. Sean White – a good but not great QB when healthy – is the best of those Gus has recruited straight out of high school. At the other end of the spectrum are the Kiehl Fraziers and Jeremy Johnsons.

        But Barrett's transfer is nothing peculiar to Gus. Guys who are mired down the depth chart frequently look elsewhere in search of playing time. For example, if memory serves Alabama's had a couple of guys leave recently, too.

      • neonbets says:

        At the end of 2016, Auburn’s QBs going into 2017 were 1. White, 2. JFIII, 3. Barrett.

        But now, as a result of [Fill-In-Blank], Auburn’s QBs are 1. Stidham, 2. White, 3. Willis–who didn’t inherit the #3 position, but beat out Barrett for the #3 position.

        No person can look at Auburn’s QB situation and reasonably claim that the QB position hasn’t undergone a significant upgrade.

        The point: Who cares if the QB position was upgraded because Malzahn ‘evaluated and developed’ or because Malzahn attracted exciting top-shelf talent that’s ready to lead this team?

        The QB position appears to be upgraded. Heightened competition is sending some players packing. Yet, you guys describe the situation as ‘saga continues’, ‘pitiful evaluation’, etc.

  2. Tiger4Life says:

    Maybe Malzahn, Lindsey, and Borges can go get the QB’s they need (depth for now- starters for the future)

  3. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I didn’t see enough on A-Day to evaluate Woody. He couldn’t even take a 3-step drop before D-linemen were in his face. He did complete the two passes he quickly chucked up. We actually have four guys left that I wouldn’t feel terrible about being in the game, should injuries crop up.

    …..Stidham is going to be scary, if he stays healthy. Banged up? Well, I think White can fill in adequately, for a few games. I think Malik Willis has a huge upside, but hopefully we won’t have to play him as a true freshman. Finally, walkon Devin Adams has not looked bad at all, in limited A-Day minutes the past two years.

  4. ausouthal says:

    Name the schools and or coaches in the SEC that have been stable at the qb position and then name the schools that have had terrible qb play or continuing transition at the position. You think Auburn is the only school that has had issues! Jeremy Johnson was a bust. Who is the blame for that is your choice? White can't stay on the field, does not avoid pressure in the pocket, and is not very good with the deep ball. Who is to blame?

    No one is to blame. It is called life. Alabama has four or so five star qbs waiting in the wings and they all transfer when they are beaten out by a true freshman. Is saban to blame? Can bama not develop the qb position? They take a transfer in coker that is no more than taking a juco and he is the starter.

    The qb position requires so much and some make it but most do not. Here is hoping we have found someone to pull the trigger on offense!

  5. JRoweMDN says:

    Woody had too much hype coming out of HS to stay as a #4, especially since the perceived #1 is only a sophomore. Anytime a big name comes in on top of the heir apparent in today's climate, you can expect to see transfers. If Stidham had gone to any power 5 school there would have been QB's transferring out. Woody lost the spot to an incoming freshman that would have given him the chance for likely 2 years as a starter.

    Gus has done a good job recruiting what should be quality QB's given their ratings and performance in camps and evaluation. JJ looked good until he was on his own and I don't believe that was something anyone could see coming. What White lacked could have been accounted for in game plan that would have prevented at least one injury if not both and likely 2 more wins.

    While I question Gus' ability to develop talent, it does seem he has learned from his mistakes in allowing outside QB coaches and hiring who he has on the offensive side of the ball. This year he will show he is a true head coach or way over his head.