War Eagle Extra

Nick Marshall: Hard to separate Gus Malzahn and Rhett Lashlee

Former Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall runs a camp at the Wire Road Sports Complex Sunday, Jan. 28, 2017.
Former Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall runs a camp at the Wire Road Sports Complex Sunday, Jan. 28, 2017. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

It’s hard for former Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall to envision what Rhett Lashlee will do with UConn’s offense next season.

The quarterback burst onto the national scene with Lashlee during their first year together on the Plains.

Lashlee finished as a finalist for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation’s top assistant coach, while Marshall powered the program to the BCS National Title Game thanks to a series of fourth quarter comebacks.

“I don’t know too much of how he’ll be cause he’s always known working with coach Malzahn,” Marshall said.

Marshall was in Auburn Sunday afternoon hosting a youth football camp at the Wire Road Sports Complex. He took a break from working with the 150 kids in attendance to speak with the Ledger-Enquirer about a number of topics including his former offensive coordinator.

“I was (surprised) cause I know him and coach Malzahn have a good history together, but at the end of the day everyone is going to do what’s best for them and their family,” Marshall said of Lashlee’s decision.

Malzahn and Lashlee initially offered Marshall a scholarship when they were at Arkansas St. The former Georgia Bulldog had 4,000-plus yards of total offense and 37 touchdowns at Garden City Community College to become one of the most sought after junior-college prospects in the country.

Marshall became their top quarterback target when they landed back at Auburn.

Lashlee and Marshall haven’t spoken much since the quarterback landed on an NFL roster last season — “I still talk to him every blue moon” — but the Georgia native still has fond memories of the two years they spent working together.

“If I got rattled or something he would always tell me to calm down and be yourself,” Marshall said.

Lashlee left for the AAC to run his own offense, a decision Malzahn defended last week during an appearance at the Senior Bowl.

“He was wanting to do his own thing, and I don’t blame him,” Malzahn said. “We had been together a long time.”

Marshall credits Lashlee for helping him get the timing down in Malzahn’s offense and teaching him the techniques needed to succeed in the hurry-up, run-play action system.

“He taught me all those things,” Marshall said.

Will Lashlee succeed turning around college football’s worst offense? Marshall is eager to see what his former offensive coordinator has in store.

“I’m ready to see what he has in his offense,” Marshall said. “We shall see, but more than likely I think he will be successful.”

Michael Niziolek: 334-332-8572, @wareagleextra

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