As the Tigers open up spring practice with questions all over the board, one of the most pressing issues is at QB. For those of you who are hoping to know a starter right after A-Day, don't get your hopes up.
Even Kiehl Frazier acknowledged the fact that the race for the starting QB job will likely stretch into August and that this Spring isn't about winning the job, but rather about learning a new system. “This'll probably go into August, so we’re more worried about getting better than who’s going to start," Frazier said (video on AL.com).
With Gus Malzahn leaving for Arkansas State (thus becoming Gus Howlzahn...you know, because they're Red Wolves...oh, forget it), Auburn reeled in Scot Loeffler from Temple to run the offense. His approach, according to Frazier, is much different than Malzahn's. Frazier described Loeffler as, "more excited, more out there, whereas Gus was more businesslike."
Nobody knows what Auburn's offense is going to look like this year. Will it be heavy running? Looking at the stats from Loeffler's previous stops, you can bet running the ball will be a staple of this offense. But what style is it? Will it be pro-style? Spread? A little touch of everything from the West Coast offense to the Pistol? That is a complete unknown.
For Frazier, Zeke Pike and Clint Moseley, this spring won't be about clinching a shot at playing time but rather simply learning what the heck they're doing out there.
Whatever style of offense Auburn runs this season, it has the talent to succeed. The running backs corp is overflowing with talent, even without Mike Dyer. The offensive line should be much improved, especially with future all-star center Reese Dismukes. The wide receiver group is also full of talent with guys like Emory Blake, Sammie Coates and (I suppose you can group him here) Philip Lutzenkirchen.
With all that talent, it'll still be up to the QB to execute the offense. This year's QB race looks to be very close but doesn't seem to have a true star. There were rumors of Tryik Rollison returning to Auburn, but those were simply not true.
Does Auburn even have a good QB, or was 2011 only a sign of lack of talent at that position? Time can only tell. Who will start? That's for another day. Right now, class is in session for these QBs.