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Home News-Telegram Sports Auburn’s new offensive coordinator says QB competition wide open headed to spring

Auburn’s new offensive coordinator says QB competition wide open headed to spring

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AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Gus Malzahn isn't picking favorites among the contenders for No. 1 quarterback leading up to Auburn's spring practice.


The Tigers' new offensive coordinator said Kodi Burns won't automatically hold onto that top spot. In fact, Malzahn said he won't go into the spring with an established pecking order, giving all the quarterbacks a shot at running his no-huddle, spread offense.


"It's going to be wide open," he said Wednesday. "We're coming into this thing new and everybody's starting new, and they're going to have to earn it."


He said Burns, Neil Caudle, redshirt freshman Barrett Trotter and possibly Chris Todd will receive comparable practice repetitions to start spring practice on March 24, but Malzahn hopes to narrow it down "as soon as possible."


Burns, who is trying to learn his third system in three years at Auburn, started the final six games of last season but was inconsistent passing.


Signees Tyrik Rollison and Clint Moseley will join the mix in fall camp.


"They're all starting new," Malzahn said. "And I think anytime you're putting in a new system and new coaches at every position, that needs to happen."


He said his offense is a quarterback-oriented system and he won't rotate passers like Tony Franklin attempted to do opening last season with Burns and Chris Todd.


Malzahn has spent plenty of time studying film of last season, mostly of Burns. Trotter was redshirted and Caudle attempted only five passes. But, he said, "we're not going to go crazy with what's happened in the past."


Malzahn said Todd hopes to be ready to go through spring practice after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery.


Malzahn coached against Burns when they were both at Arkansas high schools. He said the offseason priority for Burns' improvement was "just really base fundamentals."


"He's got a great attitude right now," the coach said. "I know he's been working extremely hard, as well as the other quarterbacks have. He's ready to get to spring. It'll be interesting to see."


Malzahn was also acquainted with Caudle, who was friends with his then-quarterback Mitch Mustain, in high school.


"I'm very familiar with him," he said. "He's a rhythm quarterback and has a very good arm, I do know that about him. He seems like a super kid. He's that type of kid that has the characteristics you look for in a quarterback, so I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do."


He is less familiar with Trotter, "but I've heard good things about him."


"I really, really like him as a person," Malzahn said. "He's got that ability, too, where he can make a play with his arm and his feet."

 

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