The big announcement that Auburn football fans were waiting for came on Thursday when Barrett Trotter was named the Tigers' starting quarterback for the 2011 season. Trotter will take the snaps when Auburn opens their season against Utah State on September 3.
Trotter wins the battle to replace 2010 Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton over sophomore Clint Moseley and freshman Kiehl Frazier. Gene Chizik and the coaching staff were very secretive during training camp about who was edging towards the head of the pack until announcing Trotter as the starter.
What led the coaching staff to tab Trotter as the starter?
In a word, experience. Trotter was the only one of the trio to have prior game experience at Auburn, throwing for 64 yards and running for 68 last season. Trotter also has more knowledge of the offense with the time he spent in the program compared to Moseley and Frazier.
Moseley may have a better arm and Frazier the most potential, but obviously, the coaching staff feels that Trotter is the safest choice to head into the season. Trotter will be protected by a new offensive line, but he will have plenty of weapons to work with such as running backs Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb and tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen.
The junior quarterback obviously has a lot to live up to in replacing Newton, who had one of the best seasons in college football history in 2010. Although Trotter will likely never match Newton's numbers, he is still playing in a system that is proven to help quarterbacks put up statistics.
Trotter will start the process towards filling those big shoes a few weeks from now against Utah State. If he can post a season comparable to Chris Todd's 2009 campaign (but beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl), then Auburn fans will consider this decision the right one.