Bo Nix or Joey Gatewood? Joey Gatewood or Bo Nix? We know the Auburn Tigers starting quarterback job belongs to one of those two players, but neither head coach Gus Malzahn nor offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham is ready to name QB1 just yet.
After all, this is a big deal. The first game of the season is no cake walk. It’s at a neutral site. It’s against a tough Power 5 team in the Oregon Ducks. It’s going to have all the hype with ESPN’s College Gameday on hand. Add in the fact both players are freshmen, and, well, no wonder this quarterback battle is a tough decision.
True freshman Bo Nix, a five-star prospect from Pinson Valley High School in Alabama, ran the majority of the reps with Auburn’s first-team offense, while redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood, a former four-star prospect, led the second-team offense during the last practice available to the media before the season opener on August 31 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.
Here’s a look at some of the practice, via AL.com, at quarterback Joey Gatewood (1) and quarterback Bo Nix (10). Target practice is the last minute of the video.
Look, these were just preseason drills during fall camp. This wasn’t even a scrimmage against any type of college football defense, let alone the ones they will face each week in the SEC.
Still, there’s a reason why this quarterback competition exists. Replacing two-year starter Jarrett Stidham, who is now in the NFL, is no easy task. Nobody is expecting the next Cam Newton right away, but that’s why the Auburn football starting job is still up for grabs.
It’s been that way through spring practice, Auburn’s A-Day spring game, and preseason camp. Malzahn is looking for the best possible player to take over the offense and why he’s been very quiet about the quarterback race this offseason, especially at SEC Media Days.
Only time will tell who will be the first quarterback under center to start the 2019 college football season, but it definitely appears Auburn’s signal caller is going to bring a lot of talent to the table for the future.