AUBURN, Ala. -- His eyes swollen and red, Clint Moseley stood at a podium before a room full of reporters Thursday night, trying to best sum up how it felt to not be named Auburn’s quarterback.
“It’s the disappointment of my life,” he said. “Period.”
Moseley, a redshirt sophomore from Leroy, Ala., came up short in his bid to win the starting job, despite being neck-and-neck with Barrett Trotter for the duration of a competition that dated back to winter workouts.
He wore his emotions on his sleeve after practice Thursday, fighting back tears during a difficult minute-long interview session.
“It’s tough,” wide receiver Emory Blake said. “You bust your butt all year long. It hurts. It’s tough to see a teammate go through this.”
Only hours earlier, Moseley, like Trotter and freshman Kiehl Frazier, were called into head coach Gene Chizik’s office one-by-one to hear their fate from Chizik and offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn.
Trotter, the oldest, went first and got the good news. Moseley, the second oldest, went next.
“They just said that Barrett gave us the best chance of winning with his experience, because he played,” Moseley said. “They said it came down to experience.”
While Trotter got minimal snaps as Cam Newton’s backup last year, appearing in only six games, Moseley had even less on-field experience.
He redshirted in 2009, working with the scout team. Last season, he got on the field only against Louisiana-Monroe. He didn’t attempt a pass.
Asked if he was surprised by the coaches’ decision, Moseley struggled to speak before coming up with a response: “I probably shouldn’t answer.”
A pecking order
Despite Moseley’s disappointment, he was still named the No. 2 quarterback, ahead of Frazier.
“Being the backup, he’s going to work extremely hard,” Chizik said. “I think he knows he’s one play away from being the starter. And we told him that. So our expectations for Clint is to work really hard every day focusing and preparing like he’s the starter every week.
“I don’t have any reason to believe he won’t do that.”
What next for Frazier?
Although Frazier is the third quarterback, Chizik didn’t say a redshirt season is a foregone conclusion.
“I won’t speculate on that,” Chizik said. “We’re getting him ready as well as Clint. Again, we know how this league is. It’s a very physical, long season. So you don’t know how it’s going to unfold.”
Frazier, the team’s prized signee from February, a consensus top-five quarterback nationally out of Springdale, Ark., got an extended look this August, getting most of the reps in scrimmage situations geared toward newcomers.
Chizik said he’s come “light years since Day 1.”
“We’ve had 16 practices and that’s a short amount of time for him to grasp everything we’re doing,” Chizik said. “He’s aware of that. He understands that and he’ll continue to work every day to assume a role on this team at quarterback and try to help our team somewhere down the line.”