Auburn Football: Kiehl Frazier Emerging as Leader in Tiger QB Race

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterJuly 11, 2012

Auburn QB Kiehl Frazier
Auburn QB Kiehl FrazierKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Auburn quarterback Kiehl Frazier distanced himself from Clint Moseley in the Tiger quarterback race this spring.

Frazier's impressive spring culminated with a performance in Auburn's A-Day Game that saw the true sophomore complete seven of nine passes for 92 yards and rush for an additional 21 yards.

That rushing statistic is skewed a bit, because on two of his carries, he was whistled down after the defender touched him. In live-game situations, he probably would have gained at least five more yards on both carries. In one of those instance, he could have taken it up the middle for a long touchdown run.

Despite Frazier's spring success, head coach Gene Chizik, offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler and the Auburn coaching staff didn't name a starter at the conclusion of spring practice.

The job appears to be Frazier's to lose, and running back Tre Mason suggested as much on Wednesday in a conversation with Joel A. Erickson of the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer:

Mason says Kiehl Frazier "has turned into a great quarterback. The way he dominated in high school, that's how he's dominating now." #Auburn

— Joel A. Erickson (@wareagleextra) July 11, 2012
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Mason went on to say that Frazier has been impressive off the field, in addition to his work on the field:

More Mason on Frazier: "We told him, we won't win unless he steps up as a team leader. He's really taken that in, and getting really focused

— Joel A. Erickson (@wareagleextra) July 11, 2012

Frazier only attempted 12 passes last season and was largely used as a Wildcat quarterback by former offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. Despite the limited work as a passer, Frazier somehow has a reputation as a player that can't cut it.

Let's hold off on writing off the sophomore until we see how he does as the starter—which is a role that he apparently is the front-runner for in 2012.

Frazier was voted the 2010 All-USA player of the year by USA Today after completing 63 percent of his passes for 2,975 yards and 42 touchdowns as a senior at Shiloh Christian High School in Springdale, Ark. 

He can be a playmaker in the passing game; he just hasn't had much of an opportunity yet.

Judging from Mason's comments, that will change in 2012.