Russell Wilson Says No: What Now for Auburn?

Former NC State QB Russell Wilson has decided to transfer to Wisconsin instead of Auburn. He had a tough decision between continuing to pursue his pro baseball career with the Asheville Tourists, or give football another go with either Auburn or Wisconsin. Early on it seemed as though he would choose football as he visited both Auburn and Wisconsin and was only batting in the low .200’s for the Tourists this season. Both sides seemed to be hearing he was going their way, but in the end, Wilson decided on Wisconsin.

So that leaves one major question for the Tigers; who is going to play quarterback for them next season? They have three QBs on the roster and at this point it seems as though they could go in any direction. So which direction will they go?

Barrett Trotter looked to be the front runner early on. He has the most experience, albeit limited, of the group. However, according to reports, Clint Moseley was the more impressive of the two during spring practice. Neither of the two really shined in the spring game, and so it begs the question, how did they look during the rest of the closed spring practices? They clearly didn’t impress Offensive Coordinator Gus Malzahn enough, as he decided to throw Auburn’s hat in the ring for Russell Wilson.

Could Kiehl Frazier be Auburn’s
answer at quarterback?

However, the x-factor and unknown possibility is true freshman Kiehl Frazier who enrolled at Auburn in early June. Kiehl was recruited by Malzahn very early on in high school, and played in Springdale, AR for Shiloh Christian. If you know Gus Malzahn’s story you know that he was noticed at Sprindgdale High School where he was the head coach before Houston Nutt hired him to be Offensive Coordinator for Arkansas. Prior to Malzahn’s stint at Springdale he coached at, you guessed it, Shiloh Christian. Frazier’s coach at Shiloh Christian, Josh Floyd, also played QB for Malzahn when he was at Shiloh. Frazier has been running Floyd’s version of Malzahn’s offense throughout his entire high school career, and thus comes in already knowing the offensive system very well. That gives him a leg up as opposed to your normal freshman QB. Not to mention, Malzahn has not been opposed to starting true freshmen quarterbacks in the past. While coaching at Arkansas, he started true freshman QB Mitch Mustain, and managed to go 8-0 with Mustain as the starting signal caller that year.

Obviously, the one thing that Kiehl will have to get used to is the speed of the SEC game. However, if Malzahn starts him from day one, he will have a chance to get used to the college game against a lesser opponent in Utah State before being thrown into the fire against Mississippi State for his first SEC game. Granted, there will be a learning curve, but Frazier knows Malzahn’s offense well and Malzahn is very confident in him.

If Auburn is looking to rebuild towards 2012 anyways, they should give Frazier the experience he needs this year to be a real threat next season. And who knows, he might impress if given the chance this year. My prediction for Auburn’s season is an 8-4 record.

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