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Thorne named Auburn’s starting quarterback

Photo By Austin Perryman/Auburn Athletics

After a three man quarterback battle over the first half of fall camp, Michigan State quarterback transfer, Payton Thorne, has been named Hugh Freeze’s first starting quarterback at Auburn. Thorne arrived on campus in early June and has been able to capture the position over returning quarterbacks Robby Ashford and Holden Geriner despite missing all of spring practices.

"I decided to start Payton Thorne," Freeze said. "Let me say this first, I totally believe that Robby and Holden, we can win games with any of the three. A lot of that will depend on how we play defensively and how the supporting cast plays. I believe in all three of those guys. There are days that there has been very little separation. My gut is usually right and I'm not saying my gut is right and Payton is the guy for all 12 games, but my gut is saying it's the time to do this and get us best prepared for the opening of the season.”

At Michigan State, Thorne notably led the Spartans to a Peach Bowl win during the 2021 season throwing for 3232 yards, a completion percentage of 60.4% and 27 touchdowns. Thorne’s 3232 single season passing yards would rank 2nd all time in Auburn program history. The 26 game starter at Michigan State was selected by Freeze for not only his experience on the field but off the field.

"The reason Payton is getting the nod is the leadership ability and understanding of the offense. He's been in some really good battles. It just seems like he was more efficient in the decision-making up to this point, not that the others were terrible up to this point. It was not just a slam dunk. I hope everyone will handle it right. This is happening at a lot of places. You compete and you continue to compete."

Photo By Austin Perryman/Auburn Athletics

Although Ashford will be assuming the backup role for the immediate future, Freeze was quick to say that Ashford will certainly see the field at times this fall.

“I'm hoping that all three will handle that news extremely well and continue to work, because I believe with all my heart Robby Ashford gives us an absolute better chance to win the game if he accepts this news and continues to work and develops himself, because he might be the most freakish athlete I've ever had at quarterback.”

“I mean, Robby is not just a runner — he's a dynamic runner, but he can throw,” Freeze said. “Certain things, he throws better. Hopefully, his consistency in that will continue to improve to where if we, whatever package he is in, they have to respect the pass off of it as well.”

With the quarterback battle completed, Auburn will begin to transition into game planning for the first few weeks of the season following this Saturday’s scrimmage.

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Sally Barber Bingham
Sally Barber Bingham
17 авг. 2023 г.

Patrick is back!!

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