If you’re an Auburn football fan then one thing you’ve been keeping an eye on this offseason is the QB race. While people and social media can speculate. I’m here to tell you that there is no competition.
This offseason the Auburn offense lost Junior starting quarterback Bo Nix. On December 12th, 2021, Nix announced his decision to transfer from Auburn University. A week later he then announced he’d be transferring to Oregon University. While Bo Nix wasn’t the most prestige quarterback in the country. He was the best quarterback Auburn had to offer. When Auburn ended the season with a 5-game losing streak, Head Coach Bryan Harsin and TJ Finley’s jobs were put at stake. About a month after the departure of Bo Nix, former Texas A&M QB Zach Calzada announced his intention to transfer to Auburn. As well as former four-star QB and Oregon transfer Robby Ashford. The acquisitions in the QB room eventually forced former four-star QB Dematrius Davis out of Auburn and into Alabama State University.
Auburn’s Current Scholarship Quarterbacks:
- QB / TJ Finley / Junior / 6’7″ / 250 lbs
- QB / Zach Calzada / (RS) Sophomore / 6’4″ / 208 lbs
- QB / Robby Ashford / (RS) Freshman / 6’3″ / 212 lbs
- QB / Holden Geriner / Freshman / 6’3″ / 212 lbs
Fast forward to Auburn’s annual “A-Day” spring game. Zach Calzada is still rehabbing an injured shoulder that he sustained versus Auburn last season. TJ Finley, Robby Ashford, and Holden Geriner all split the reps in the game. Calzada missing spring activities hurt his chances of gaining the starting spot. Finley has shown a lot of improvement, while Robby Ashford surprised a lot of folks. As the quarterback race started to heat up it seemed that Calzada was too far behind to be considered a starter. As fall camp wrapped up, it grew more and more clear that Finley would be the starter. Ashford offers the most dynamic solution, but Auburn isn’t the “dual-threat” QB type of team now. Bryan Harsin’s preferred offense is led by a pocket passer, a “pro-style” offense. Harsin looks for a steady-demeanor signal-caller to run the offense, not just a wannabe playmaker.
I’m not saying that TJ Finley is the best option for the Tigers in 2022, but he makes the most sense as of right now. If Calzada was healthy all offseason I think we’d be seeing a Calzada-led offense against Mercer. I believe further down the line, Calzada may work his way into the starting spot. I do believe TJ Finley will open up as the starter against Mercer. However, I think any QB that plays will be put on a short leash. Based on what has happened up until this point. I would say that the QB depth chart will be TJ Finley as the starter. Zach Calzada will be the backup option. Robby Ashford will be third, but due to his athleticism will have opportunities in the offense. The true Freshman Holden Geriner will take a redshirt year.
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Will be very interesting to see how this all plays out!! War Eagle🦅🦅🦅