Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall won’t start the season opener, but the man who will – backup Jeremy Johnson – says he knows where Marshall will be once December rolls around.
Johnson said he thinks Marshall, who not start but is expected to play in the season opener against Arkansas due to a marijuana citation from July, will win the Heisman Trophy.
“He led us to the national championship, and we were 13 seconds away,” Johnson told Al.com’s Brandon Marcello. “And this year he got better at passing, better at running, better at making reads. He’s become a leader on this team and I’ve never seen him so amped at practice every day the way he is, the way he comes out. So, I know for a fact he’ll win the Heisman.”
That’s quite the declaration from Johnson, who lost the starting quarterback battle to Marshall last offseason. Despite the competition at their position, Marcello writes that the two have a very close relationship and “talk as if they’re brothers.”
Johnson obviously has a little bit of a bias here, but Marshall, a senior, was recently listed at 16/1 to win the Heisman by Bovada, so he’s certainly in the conversation.
A classic dual-threat quarterback, Marshall put up 1,976 passing yards and 1,068 rushing yards to go along with 26 total touchdowns while leading the Tigers to the SEC championship last season. Though those numbers are impressive, he completed just 59.4 percent of his passes and has made a concerted effort to improve his passing skills in the offseason.
If Marshall’s passing has improved like Johnson says and he leads Auburn to another great season while putting up big numbers, he could find himself in New York City for the Heisman ceremony.
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