Auburn coach Gus Malzahn is throwing his ideal timeline for naming a quarterback out the window following the team’s second preseason scrimmage.
Malzahn spent the entire summer outlining his goal to name a starter during the team’s two-week fall camp.
With the end of training camp 48 hours away, Malzahn is now preaching patience in the ongoing competition between Jeremy Johnson, Sean White and junior college transfer John Franklin III.
“It’s a really good battle,” Malzahn said. “This is not coach speak when I say that. We have three guys, and they’re battling their guts out. They’ve all got their sleeves rolled up, there’s nobody conceding anything. It’s been good and it’s been healthy.”
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Auburn players continue to trumpet the same message, but acknowledge the extended quarterback controversy isn’t an ideal scenario.
Linebacker Darrell Williams wants to see one of the quarterbacks needs “be a man” and take control of the starting spot.
Wide receiver Darius Slayton needed time to think of a response when he was asked Saturday if it would be better for the offense if the quarterback competition had an end in sight.
“I mean as of right now I can’t personally make the decision so I’m getting used to all three of them,” Slayton said.
Slayton wouldn’t veer from the politically correct response.
“In a perfect world, yeah it would be easier if we had one guy,” Slayton said. “You can’t always pick what situation you are in. I still feel like we are in a good spot with all three of them.”
While Lashlee left the door open to play multiple quarterbacks against Clemson on Sept. 3 at Jordan-Hare Stadium, his boss wasn’t willing to go there yet.
Malzahn wants to get back in the film room as the team readies for game prep next week.
“I’m not ready to go there yet,” Malzahn said. “We’re going to get to the end of fall camp, kind of re-evaluate everything, then we’ll talk. I’m not ready to look that far ahead yet.”
All three quarterbacks remain in the race, but Johnson missed critical practice reps Saturday.
“We did hold him out but it wasn't anything that was major,” Malzahn said. “We just wanted to get more information on those two. Don't ready anything in-between that. That's just what we chose to do.”
White and Franklin split reps with the first team in Johnson’s absence. The first team offense spent the scrimmage working through situational reps — two-minute, overtime, backed up — and didn’t score a passing touchdown.