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Auburn quarterback Sean White a late scratch against Texas A&M, Jeremy Johnson will start

Michael Niziolek

mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn quarterback Sean White dressed for Saturday night’s game against Texas A&M, but like the fans at Kyle Field was a bystander.

During pre-game warm-ups, the redshirt freshman watched Jeremy Johnson and Jonathan Wallace split snaps with his arms crossed across his chest.

Coach Gus Malzahn and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee maintained throughout the week the left knee injury White suffered against Arkansas was steadily improving.

Malzahn said publically as late as Wednesday afternoon he expected White to start, but reversed course Saturday night. 

The Auburn Tigers’ official website posted the news that Jeremy Johnson would start less than 40 minutes before kickoff.

"He practiced well and had a great attitude, and he's ready,” Malzahn told AuburnTigers.com of Johnson. “He's been through a lot this season, and he's been waiting for this moment."

With White unable to practice leading up to the Ole Miss game, Johnson practiced two weeks ago as if he was going to start. It wasn’t until Malzahn watched White go through warm-ups that he decided to stick with the Florida native.

Auburn coaches maintained White was improving leading up to Saturday’s Texas A&M game, and wouldn’t be a game-time decision, but according to AuburnTigers.com Malzahn notified the team earlier in the week Johnson would start.

"He had to prepare like he was going to start last week, and that's what he did," Malzahn said. "This week, we were able to tell him a little bit earlier in the week when we figured out Sean wasn't going to be able to play. I know that will help him. Our team is behind him. He's going to fight.”

Malzahn was quoted in the story saying that White would only be used in an “emergency situation.”

Johnson hasn’t started since week three, but rotated in against the Rebels. He was 1 of 3 for 44 yards, with four carries for 15 yards.

On the season, he is 44 of 75 for 517 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions.

Wallace, a Central High School alum, will backup Johnson. The Phenix City native started four games back in 2011, but moved to wide receiver in the spring. 

A season-ending shoulder injury to quarterback Tyler Queen had Wallace splitting practice times at the position.

Michael Niziolek covers Auburn football for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Email him at mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

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