Where Auburn’s QB situation ranks among the rest of the FBS
Auburn football entered the spring with a dubious quarterback situation, as the Tigers would enter the 2023 season with the same candidates from the 2022 season in Robby Ashford, T.J. Finley, and Holden Geriner.
It got more interesting in April as Finley departed the program for Texas State, and Payton Thorne joined the program after spending three seasons at Michigan State.
Does Auburn’s revamped situation bring a sense of confidence to the program? ESPN’s David Hale seems to think so.
Hale recently placed all 133 FBS teams’ quarterback situations into tiers, and Auburn has landed in tier seven, which is titled A fresh start offers cause for optimism. The tier centers around programs that feature transfer quarterbacks such as Georgia Tech, Houston, Louisville, Illinois, and Purdue. Those programs bring in talented quarterbacks who have experience from previous schools.
One anonymous defensive coach from the Big Ten says that Thorne will be a game-changer for Auburn.
“It’s a whole different offense, and I don’t know what they have around him for what they’re going to be doing, but I think he’s going to check a lot of boxes for what you’d want of a transfer in Year 1 at a program.”
As for Michigan State, they check in at tier 11, which is named “incomplete grades.” Concerning the Spartans’ situation, another anonymous coach predicts that Mel Tucker will regret letting Thorne walk away from the program.
“I have a hard time believing Michigan State wanted to see him go. How do you want to start all over in a critical year with a brand-new quarterback (Noah Kim) that has no game experience?”
Thorne brings three seasons of experience with him to Auburn and has passed for 6,493 yards and 49 touchdowns. With one true season as a quarterback at the FBS level, Ashford threw for 1,613 yards and seven touchdowns during the 2022 season for Auburn. The competition will be interesting to see unfold over the next several months.
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