Auburn 2022 Quarterback Spring Preview

Auburn Spring Quarterback
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The Auburn Tigers begin spring practice on March 14th, and one of many storylines will be the quarterback. After starting for the Tigers the last three seasons, Bo Nix is headed to Oregon to conclude his collegiate career. That means there will be a new starter on the plains this fall. Auburn is welcoming in two transfers, two returning players, and one recruit. This will be one of many big decisions for Bryan Harsin and the staff heading into year two on the plains.

Auburn 2022 Quarterback Spring Preview

Returning Quarterbacks

T.J. Finley

When Nix was injured late in the season against Mississippi State, T.J. Finley took over the reins under center for the remaining three games. In games against South Carolina, Alabama, and Houston he passed for 827 yards and six touchdowns to just one interception. Those numbers do not look bad on paper but the stat that fans will look at is the win-loss record. The Tigers were 0-3 in games started by Finley. The offense sputtered in those contests scoring just 17, 22, and 13 points. He did save the Tigers early in the season when Nix was pulled late against Georgia State when the team was trailing. Finley helped rally the Tigers to a ten-point victory. He connected with Shedrick Jackson late to give the Tigers the lead on fourth and goal.

Dematrius Davis

In his freshman season, Dematrius Davis did not see the field at all. If you look up his stats, there is nothing. That was an issue the Auburn faithful had with Harsin during the 2021 season. There were times when Finley would struggle that the fanbase let it be known they wanted to see Davis on the field. Going into this spring will be a great opportunity for Davis to show why he should see the field in 2022. The Houston, Texas native had a heralded high school career and was a four-star when he signed with the Auburn 2021 class. Davis could be a wildcard candidate for the Auburn quarterback job if he performs well in the spring.

Transfers

Zach Calzada

What makes Auburn fans happy? Beating Alabama. And Zach Calzada did just that last season in the highlight of the season for the Texas A&M Aggies. He went 6-4 as a starter after taking over for an injured Haynes King. The injury occurred in the second game against Colorado in a 10-7 comeback victory. Calzada struggled in SEC losses against Arkansas and Mississippi State leading up to the Alabama game. Against the Tide, he passed for 285 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Aggies to a 41-38 win over top-ranked Alabama. Overall on the season, Calzada passed for 2,185 yards with a 56% completion rate and 17 touchdowns. Transferring was not a surprise with King slated to return, and LSU transfer Max Johnson making the quarterback room crowded. Calzada should be the favorite to land the Auburn quarterback job heading into the spring.

Robby Ashford

While the Ducks gained a Tigers quarterback, Auburn gained an Oregon quarterback in Robby Ashford. It is a bit of a homecoming for the talented signal-caller. He played his high school career at one of the nation’s best programs in Hoover. Like Davis, he has not seen any playing time, and this could be an opportunity to change that. In his initial recruitment, he did pay a visit to Auburn on an unofficial visit in 2018. He has a big build at 6-4 and weighing at 219. His potential as a dual threat quarterback could add an element to the Auburn offense they did not have in 2021.

In-coming Freshman

Holden Geriner

Much has been criticized over the 2022 recruiting class and the lack of signees, but one of the positives is Georgia native Holden Geriner. He comes in as a winner ending his high school career with a state championship for Benedictine Military School. Geriner was the AAAA offensive player of the year and completed 68% of his passes for 3,377 yards and 36 touchdowns. He is good with ball security just throwing three interceptions. With the Auburn quarterback room loaded it would most likely be an upset if Geriner landed the starting job in his first season.

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