For Auburn's quarterbacks, this spring will matter more than most
Quarterbacks always have the spotlight on them. But it'll be brighter on Auburn's than usual — because of what might happen next.
It’s Monday, Feb. 27, which means that this is the start of spring practices for Auburn football.
This will be our third edition of spring ball here at The Observer, and we want to offer a special deal for anybody who wants to subscribe for our coverage between now and A-Day — 33% off a full year, which is our biggest discount yet.
For just $40, you will get an Observer subscription for the next 365 days. That’s all of our spring football coverage, all of our postseason basketball coverage, the entire offseason, all of the 2023 football season and almost all of the 2023-24 basketball season for $20 less than our usual rate.
As we said on Sunday’s podcast, we’ll kick things off with Observations from the opening viewing window of Monday’s first practice. Those will be sent to subscribers later this evening. If you want to make sure you get them and aren’t already a subscriber, this is the absolute best time to join the Inner Circle.
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And now, here’s today’s newsletter — setting the tone for spring practices at the most important position on the field…
QB Robby Ashford (Auburn Athletics)
How much can you really get out of spring practices?
It’s a fair question, one that has been posed by skeptical fans for a long time. When Auburn opens spring practices Monday, it will be 188 days — six whole months, plus an additional week — away from an actual competitive football game.
Auburn’s head coach is new. So are both of his coordinators and all but two of his on-field assistants. (Or three, if you count Wesley McGriff, who is back for his third stint on the Plains.)
There are more than 20 players who are new to the program, too. About a quarter of the roster is made up of guys who were somewhere else just a few months ago, and there are still a dozen more true freshmen who won’t arrive until the summer.
Hugh Freeze and his new staff spent so much time and energy trying to play catch-up in recruiting that they are still getting to know their players. And Monday afternoon will mark the first time they will be able to actually do some actual football with them.
Most position battles aren’t decided until fall camp. Auburn doesn’t even have its complete roster set yet. There’s more than half of a calendar year to go before the Tigers actually have to do something that counts in the record books.
So, again, how much can you really get out of spring practices?
Well, if you’re a quarterback for Freeze and new offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery, this might be the most meaningful spring of your entire football career.
Because what happens over the next 15 practices will determine Auburn’s next move in roster construction at the most important position on the field.
“Will we take a quarterback in the second portal (period)?” Freeze said earlier this month. “I think I'll know a lot more after spring practice.”
Welcome to the first Auburn quarterback competition in this new, two-transfer portal window era of college football.