July 17, 2013
By Charles Goldberg
HOOVER, Ala. — Gus Malzahn says he hopes "somebody will establish himself early" in the race to be Auburn's starting quarterback, but, until then, "we've got four guys and we're going into this thing with a very open mind."
Malzahn was not close to naming a starting quarterback as he arrived for his turn at SEC Media Days.
"We'll be very upfront with our guys," Malzahn said.
Auburn has two experienced quarterbacks in Kiehl Frazier and Jonathan Wallace, and two newcomers in junior college transfer Nick Marshall and Alabama high school Mr. Football Jeremy Johnson.
When asked, Malzahn said Marshall has been steady in summer workouts.
"All I've heard is he's got a good attitude and he's worked hard since he's been here," Malzahn said.
Malzahn said naming a starting quarterback is the No. 1 priority, "but we have a lot of questions that need to be answered."
Like when? He said he named Chris Todd the starter in 2009 nine days into fall practice. "Hopefully, it will be earlier than later."
Malzahn said he wasn't sure if he'd use a Wildcat quarterback. He didn’t when he had Cam Newton.
"When Cam started, he wasn't our Wildcat guy. Then I figured out he needed to be. That's how smart I am," Malzahn joked.
Other notes from Malzahn's early meeting with the media:
**Fall practice will begin Aug. 2. Players report Aug. 1.
the "summer as been good. Our players have gotten stronger, and, of course, they needed to."
**He said signee Earnest Robinson will begin his college career in junior college. Signee Jason Smith "is still up in the air. Nothing finalized at this point."
**On expectations for the season:
"There are a lot question marks going into this year. We'll learn a lot in fall camp."
But the expectations for improvement are there. Malzahn saw that with a record crowd for the A-Day Game.
"It's been overwhelming for me. We have the best fans in college football, and they've showed that. There's a lot of excitement when you go speak at places. It's a real special feeling.
"True families have a way of rallying, and that's what you saw. It really gave our players and coaches a shot in the arm."
Also: "We talk about getting our edge back. We're going to be very physical in fall camp. That's just what we'll have to do."
**Which newcomers have a chance to help this year?
"All of them. Everybody who shows up will have an opportunity to help us."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him at Follow @AUGoldMine