‘I’ve always wanted to play quarterback at Auburn’: Bo Nix named Tigers’ starting QB
It wasn’t done with a rose and a fancy television program, but Gus Malzahn has named Auburn’s starter at quarterback.
Bo Nix will lead the Tigers’ offense when it takes the field August 31 in Arlington, Texas, against the Oregon Ducks. Nix won the job over redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood and, according to numerous reports, took the majority of first-team reps in different drills leading up to Auburn’s second scrimmage.
“I’ve always wanted to play quarterback at Auburn,” Nix said in his first media appearance as a Tiger. “Going all the way back to throwing the ball in the back yard with my dad, I’ve always wanted to play quarterback at Auburn.”
Auburn announced the news in a tweet Tuesday afternoon and Malzahn confirmed the news at his Tuesday press conference.
Malzahn said he announced the news at a team meeting on Tuesday prior to their indoor practice. Unsurprisingly, he would not say that he had any plans to use Gatewood during the Oregon game, saying he didn’t want to give the Ducks any unfair advantage.
“I think it’s important to the team to know,” Malzahn said when asked why he announced the starter on Tuesday. “... It’s tough for quarterbacks to continue to rotate.“
Malzahn said Nix had a “very good fall camp,” and his consistency throughout camp gives the team the best chance to succeed this fall.
“He’s not your normal freshman, I think that’s fair to say,” Malzahn said.
Malzahn said Nix will make some mistakes — that’s to be expected with a freshman quarterback, and considering Auburn’s brutal 2019 schedule. He said Nix is “a lot faster than people give him credit for.”
“(We’re looking for) a guy who can take care of the football,” Auburn quarterback coach and offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham said last week. “A guy who can run the offense, and can make things right. … That guy who doesn’t turn the ball over, who can make the routine play, and then understands how to not make a bad play.”
Nix is a former five-star according to Rivals and a former Mr. Football in the state of Alabama. He set Alabama state records with more than 12,000 career yards of total offense and 161 touchdowns. He led Pinson Valley High to consecutive AHSAA Class 6A titles, coached by his father, Patrick Nix.
Malzahn said he could tell Nix was well-coached in high school, and that he was a coach’s son.
Nix said he understood the offense well throughout camp and gained a lot of chemistry with the receivers as camp went on. He said the offense Malzahn runs is “very similar” to the offense he quarterbacked at Pinson Valley.
Nix will be the first true freshman quarterback to start for Auburn in a season opener when the Tigers take on the Ducks in the Advocare Classic (7:30 p.m., ABC).
“Some people view that as tough,” Nix said. “I kind of view it as fun.”