Most Auburn fans have been keeping up with the quarterback position at Auburn this season. It is a position that is loaded with talent that has been brought out by hard work.
While the media would have fans think differently, the order of succession at this position has been predicted for several months.
There is a reason why no article on Cameron Newton’s abilities has been written here. He came to Auburn with some very raw talent and a ton of potential that had never been tapped.
He was already an accomplished quarterback, but so much more was possible.
He was recovering from surgery in the early days at Auburn. He worked relentlessly to rehab his body while studying the playbook and film to prepare for the battle ahead.
The Auburn staff had recruited him with only the promise of opportunity. He would have to earn his position. Many in the media took a cursory glance and saw only one obstacle in his path.
Neil Caudle is a senior system quarterback that had served as the backup to Chris Todd the year before. By any measure, he is a talented young man. He is very mobile and has a serviceable arm.
No one figured Neil Caudle to be competition for Newton. They were only half right. Neil Caudle was working on eliminating his habit of focusing in on his intended receiver. It is a habit that many system quarterbacks develop. It was simply too much to overcome and win a heavily contested position battle with three other talented candidates.
Barrett Trotter had shown spurts of the ability he had in the spring of 2009. He was progressing toward a date with destiny when a devastating knee injury stopped his pursuit for a year. He had knee surgery and returned for spring practice 2010 both healthy and prepared.
Newton and Trotter battled it out during spring training in a contest decided by the thinnest of margins. Trotter the gifted pocket passer and Newton the true definition of a dual threat quarterback.
Newton began the spring throwing a little high and without as much touch as was required. His legs were a definite advantage. As practice wore on, Newton began to improve.
Trotter not only showed how talented a passer he was, but showed how his uncanny pocket presence made him very difficult to sack. There were times when it looked as if he would persevere.
When the dust settled after spring practice, it was uncertain which of these exceptional quarterbacks had won the starting role. The staff finally released their decision a week after spring practice.
When Newton was declared as the starting quarterback, the competition was opened once again for the number two spot. This is where fall practice would begin. Barrett Trotter. Neil Caudle, and Clint Moseley would keep fighting it out for the number two position.
By accounts, Neil Caudle had improved and was working hard to eliminate his problems. He had made substantial progress. The game had slowed down some for Clint Moseley and he was progressing very well.
Barrett Trotter continued his aggressive push by continuing to develop his excellent passing skills and vision. It would be a competition where he started out with a lead and remained there all the way.
Barret Trotter brings a totally different and unique set of quarterback skills to the position. Should Cameron Newton be having a bad day, or need rest, Trotter will change the dynamic of the game. He has great vision and his superb pocket presence allows him make difficult plays.
While it is great to have two quality quarterbacks, it is better to have four. Gus Malzahn has repeatedly said that he has four options at quarterback. While Neil Caudle and Clint Moseley have been training as holders for special teams; either of them is capable of taking over the offense and operating it with proficiency.
One can only imagine what Gus Malzahn might have in mind with four good quarterbacks to scheme with.