Frazier took all the snaps at quarterback during a 30-play scrimmage Tuesday morning at Jordan-Hare Stadium, and even though the focus was admittedly to look at younger players, his continued competition with upperclassmen Barrett Trotter and Clint Moseley appears to be anything but over.
Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn was asked if the Tigers’ three contenders at the quarterback position were making it a particularly tough decision.
“I think that’s fair to say,” he said. “Like I said before, that’s a good thing. We’ve got three quality quarterbacks, and they are making it tough. I just told coach (Gene) Chizik we want to be 100 percent sure like we’ve always done since we’ve been here. We understand the time table, we understand it’s getting down to the end. We need to try and make a decision as soon as we can, I’m sure.”
Trotter, a redshirt junior, and Moseley, a redshirt sophomore, have limited playing experience but entered fall camp with a vastly superior knowledge of Malzahn’s offense.
Frazier ran a simplified version of the offense at Shiloh Christian High School in Springdale, Ark., where Malzahn used to be the head coach.
Even though it was a simplified version at the high school level, Frazier ran it rather well.
He was selected USA Today’s National Offensive Player of the Year and ESPN.com’s No. 2-ranked high school quarterback.
During his senior season, he passed for 2,967 yards and 42 touchdowns and rushed for 1,164 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Frazier, by design, has gotten more reps than Trotter or Moseley in fall practice to give him every opportunity to prove he can be the starter.
“I know (Frazier) is more comfortable,” Malzahn said. “I don’t know if he’s completely comfortable. You could ask him. We’re throwing a lot at him. We ask our quarterbacks to do a lot before the play. Then they’ve got to react, seeing different looks. The more experience you get, the better, and we’ve given him more reps by design to see where he’s at.”
Frazier was not available to the media after Tuesday’s scrimmage, but previously has stated that while he would love to start as a freshman, he’s content with whatever the coaching staff decides.
His competition, rather obviously, wants the starting job just as badly, if not worse.
“That’s what I want, to be the starter,” Moseley said Tuesday. “I feel like I’m ready. It would be the biggest thing that ever happened to me.”
The decision time draws near. Was Tuesday’s scrimmage Frazier’s last gasp before the battle settles between Moseley and Trotter? Or was it just another learning day for the player who is scheduled to be running the offense when the Tigers open the season at home Sept. 3 against Utah State?
No answers are yet forthcoming from the Auburn coaching staff.
“Well, you’re talking about two guys who have been in our system for three years and a guy who just showed up,” Malzahn said. “Even though he ran a similar offense in high school, it’s a different world. I’ve been very happy with the way he has progressed. He’s a very smart person. He’s a tough kid. He’s very coachable and every time out there, he’s improved. We’ll know where we’re going soon enough.”