Is Auburn's 2023 starting QB currently on the roster? No one knows yet.
"It's not personal... But when I watched the tapes from last year, I see that we've got to grow up in that room."
QB Robby Ashford (Zach Bland/Auburn Athletics)
MONTGOMERY — For the last couple of months, a major Auburn football question has been asked countless times by fans and media alike:
Is Auburn’s 2023 starting quarterback currently on the roster?
Well, with less than a month to go until the start of spring practices, you can add another notable group of people — the coaching staff.
“I want to see who the quarterback is,” Hugh Freeze told several reporters last Friday in Montgomery, after he was a featured speaker at the Alabama Football Coaches Association’s annual clinic. “Do we have him on campus? I don't know that yet.”
Freeze has been Auburn’s head coach for a little more than two months, and he’s spent almost that entire time trying to help resurrect the Tigers’ recruiting operation.
He said he had been on the road every day since he took the job, with the exception of the weekends in which the priority was meeting recruits on-campus.
With the recruiting calendar slowing down after a massive Junior Day event this past Saturday, Freeze can start to prioritize getting to know his current roster more as it goes through winter workouts.
But there will still be work away from the office. For example, he’s set to visit Senior Bowl practices in Mobile on Tuesday afternoon, where former Tiger edge rushers Derick Hall and Eku Leota will be in action.
As the focus shifts to the players already on the Plains, quarterback is clearly on the forefront on a lot of people’s minds. And Freeze was very honest about what he thought of the Tigers’ current quarterbacks — Robby Ashford, Holden Geriner and the returning T.J. Finley.
“I think that room's got to grow up,” Freeze said. “I think they've got to grow up and decide if they truly want to be a quarterback. And if so, then they're going to have to take hard coaching from me. I coach that spot really, really hard. But I've been honest with them and told them that.
“It's not personal, it's not anything (like that). But when I watched the tapes from last year, I see that we've got to grow up in that room and understand what it means to be an SEC quarterback at a place like Auburn.”
And it’s easy to see how the Tigers have a lot of growing up to do at quarterback.