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Auburn quarterback Sean White will start against Georgia

Auburn quarterback Sean White arrives at Jordan-Hare Stadium before game against Arkansas St. Saturday, Sept. 13, 2016.
Auburn quarterback Sean White arrives at Jordan-Hare Stadium before game against Arkansas St. Saturday, Sept. 13, 2016. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Coach Gus Malzahn cleared up Auburn’s quarterback situation at the top of his weekly press conference Tuesday.

“He’ll start,” Malzahn said.

Malzahn was less forthcoming about the specifics of White’s situation describing the ailment as “an injury” with no further explanation.

The plan is for White to practice this week, but Malzahn cautioned the coaching staff plans “to be smart” with the sophomore considering he didn’t take a single practice rep last week.

“He's not 100 percent or we would have started him last week,” Malzahn said. “He went in there and did a solid job. He'll be better this week than he was last week. We'll see how it goes in practice.”

Malzahn previously declined to comment on the nature of White’s injury after the game Saturday.

While the ESPN broadcasters said the sophomore was out with a bad shoulder, Malzahn contradicted the report.

“I didn’t say he had a bad shoulder, but he’s beat up,” Malzahn said Saturday.

White warmed up before Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt, but didn’t go through drills with the first team.

Malzahn and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee decided to start backup John Franklin III, but the offense struggled getting into a rhythm. Auburn found the end zone on its opening driving, but did little else the rest of the first half.

White told coaches before the game he could play, and they took him up on the offer for the second half trailing 13-10.

“He’s a real tough guy,” Malzahn said. “He showed a lot of guts and courage last week.”

White finished the game 10 of 13 for 106 yards with a 21-yard touchdown throw to Darius Slayton. The 6-foot-0, 200-pounder immediately gave Auburn’s offense the added dimension it needed to hold off the Commodores.

“You put him out there on the field in the second half and it was a new energy on the sideline and we got back in our groove and our flow,” Malzahn said. “That says a lot about your quarterback being a leader of the team. If you have a good team, your quarterback is usually one of your leaders. His teammates have a lot of respect for him. His coaches do to. That will help him moving forward too. That had to of felt good for him too.”

Michael Niziolek: 334-332-8572, @wareagleextra

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