Auburn getting closer to naming a starting quarterback

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Gus Malzahn and Kiehl Frazier turned Auburn’s quarterback race on its head last night when Malzahn announced Frazier is out of the quarterback race and has moved to safety.

In addition, Jonathan Wallace still remains in the QB hunt, but he’s a distant third to newcomers Nick Marshall and Jeremy Johnson.

Frazier essentially took himself out of the race, citing his heart wasn’t 100 percent set on being a quarterback, via AL.

“I did well enough the first two days to put myself in a position to be the quarterback, but that’s not something that I felt like – that’s something that you have to be all in, 100 percent,” Frazier said. “You’re going to be the quarterback at Auburn, because this is one of the biggest programs in the country. And to not have your heart in it 100 percent is something that, that would just be letting your team down.”

So, the quarterback job focuses on two main contenders – JUCO transfer Nick Marshall, perceived by most to be the favorite, and freshman Jeremy Johnson. Each have jumped to the forefront of one of the biggest position battles in the SEC, and both have had strong scrimmages and impressive camps helping to get them to this point.

Malzahn said the two will split the first-team reps this week.

Johnson and Marshall give Malzahn options. Both can sling it around the yard, but Marshall is the better runner of the two. Johnson has been lauded for his deep ball and athleticism, but Marshall has all the tools – including experience – to be the best candidate now. Despite throwing 20 INTs in JUCO, Marshall has protected the ball well in fall practice.

Marshall played 13 games at corner for Georgia in 2011 before transferring to JUCO, where he put up 4,000-plus yards and 37 TDs. Johnson was the Alabama’s Mr. Football, and Malzahn said he’s right in the mix to be the starter, despite being a freshman.

Auburn will have their seventh straight different starter to open 2013.

Photo Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

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