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How Hugh Freeze is changing Auburn football’s recruitment of QBs 1/25/2023 Nick Alvarez,

In the Bryan Harsin era of Auburn football, a constant question around the program concerned who would quarterback the offense, but also who was the next one afterward. What did the pipeline look like?

Following Bo Nix’s departure, the Tigers relied on the transfer portal for starters. Its 2021 signee (Texas four-star Dematrius Davis) left after one year and four-star Holden Geriner (2022) threw three passes while sitting behind TJ Finley and Robby Ashford on the depth chart. Even as new head coach Hugh Freeze has pulled in 33 new players in the 2023 cycle, the appeal of a veteran signal-caller remains.

While Freeze said during the December signing period the Tigers would add a quarterback if it was the “right” fit and flirted with a few options, the staff has made it a point to simultaneously revamp the roster and make sure the quarterback position is in good shape for years to come.

From securing an elite recruit in Shea Patterson while leading Ole Miss and developing Auburn transfer Malik Willis into an NFL draftee, Freeze has demonstrated he can identify talent at the sport’s most important position. He’s already made executive calls on the Plains, opting for a former-Liberty commit Hank Brown over Keyone Jenkins, one of Cadillac Williiams’ first commits as interim head coach.

“I’m big on not signing a quarterback that I haven’t seen throw,” Freeze said last month.”I’ve seen (Brown) make every throw you can make. He has an NFL arm. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.”

When the recent NCAA dead period ended, Freeze and his staff focused on in-person looks with one of the nation’s top 2024 quarterback recruits. Walker White, the top player in Arkansas on the 247Sports Composite, has thrown for 48 touchdowns in his last two seasons, producing over 5,000 yards of offense. The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder has had multiple interactions with members of the program in January, with Freeze and offensive coordinator Phillip Montgomery traveling to Little Rock (Ark.) Christian, White high school. White also visited Auburn this week.

Auburn is providing itself with options. Adrian Posse, Florida four-star tied to Harsin, announced his decommitment on Jan. 15, six months after his initial decision. Still, Langston (Ga.) Hughes four-star Air Noland, who’s visiting Alabama this weekend, has a Crystal Ball prediction tying him to the Plains. A trio of in-state juniors should also get looks with St. James’ KJ Jackson, Baker’s Josh Flowers and Clay-Chalkville’s Kamari McClellan rising up national boards.

The Tigers struggled in a quarterback-heavy 2023 class, entering late on local stars (Briarwood Christian’s Christopher Vizzina to Clemson) and whiffing on out-of-staters like Brock Glenn, who’s named after the program and settled at Florida State. In 2024, starting with White — ranked 92nd overall — Auburn is in the mix for multiple throwers.

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Why 4-star running back Jeremiah Cobb has yet to sign with Auburn

Nick Alvarez is a reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @nick_a_alvarez or email him at

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