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Auburn OC Rhett Lashlee: “There’s really no rush” to name a starting quarterback

Auburn quarterback Sean White at the program's annual Fan Day on Sunday, August 14, 2016.
Auburn quarterback Sean White at the program's annual Fan Day on Sunday, August 14, 2016. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn’s priority at the start of training camp was to find a starting quarterback as quickly as possible.

Camp concluded Monday with no starter and no new timeline for naming one.

Coach Gus Malzahn wants to gather more information on Sean White, Jeremy Johnson and junior college transfer John Franklin III as the three quarterbacks continue to equally rotate reps with the first team.

A matchup against No. 2 ranked Clemson on Sept. 3 at Jordan-Hare Stadium looms large, but the prospect of facing last year’s runner-up without a starter firmly in place isn’t weighing on the coaching staff’s minds.

“I know everybody gets all — I don’t want to say gets worked up — but wants to know,” Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said Thursday night. “We have only had two weeks of camp. There’s really no rush.”

Lashlee even laughed when asked about a possible timeline for naming a starter.

“When we are ready we will decide,” Lashlee said.

The only intriguing detail about the quarterback competition Lashlee shared is one that bodes well for Franklin’s supporters.

“The more time he gets for reps the better chance he has of continuing to improve,” Lashlee said. “We are just trying to get him as many reps as possible.”

Quick hits

— Lashlee isn’t ruling out using freshman quarterback Woody Barrett this season.

“It’s early for that,” Lashlee said of redshirting the Florida native.

Barrett needed extra time than many of his freshman teammates to gain academic eligibility. His late arrival prevented him from being a factor in Auburn’s quarterback competition.

“He’s way behind those three guys,” Lashlee said. “In fairness, one, because of time and two, because they are getting the bulk of the reps.”

Lashlee plans to be patient with Barrett, but that doesn’t mean automatically ruling him out for the year.

“You never know what can happen in terms of injury,” Lashlee said.

— Injured quarterback Tyler Queen is back practicing in full pads. Queen had season-ending surgery last September then injured his shoulder in spring camp. The redshirt freshman is on a pitch count — he’s throwing the ball up to 50 times per practice up to 40 yards — and won’t be 100 percent until later this season.

“No reason to rush him,” Lashlee said. “It wouldn’t make a lot of sense to push him back with where we are at.”

— Lashlee hopes to get a fully cleared Tony Stevens and Kyle Davis back on the field by next week. Stevens suffered an undisclosed leg injury before the final day of preseason camp. He was on crutches at fan day, but coach Gus Malzahn said the injury wasn’t serious.

Davis hasn’t practiced this month recovering from foot surgery. Lashlee hopes Davis is “full go” by Monday.

“He’s in as good of a place as he’s been in a long time,” Lashlee said.

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