The Auburn football program is closing in on its starting quarterback for the 2019 season. During spring exit interviews, Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn confirmed that the competition is down to two freshmen. The two men vying for the job are redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood and true freshman Bo Nix, according to al.com.
“Joey Gatewood, Bo Nix are really 1, 1A,” Malzahn said. “One of those two guys will be our starting quarterback for our first game. They’ll compete during the summer and during fall camp and we’ll make a decision.”
With Gatewood and Nix emerging as the two favorites for the job, that means junior Malik Willis and redshirt freshman Cord Sandberg have fallen out of contention.
Impressive performances at Auburn’s “A-Day” spring game helped set Gatewood and Nix apart.
During the exhibition, Nix threw for 155 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception on 11-of-17 passing. Gatewood, meanwhile, completed 8-of-12 passes while throwing for 130 yards and two scores. The numbers are even more impressive for Nix when you consider he should still be finishing his senior year of high school. Instead, he made the decision to enroll at Auburn early.
“You know, he’s earned it,” Malzahn said of the true freshman. “We went into spring with a very open mind and wanted to put in a lot of different scenarios and situations. So, he’s earned it, as well has Joey Gatewood. He really improved from the fall, and both those guys were very desperate to win the position. That’s really what stood out to our coaches.”
We will have to see whether Nix or Gatewood can distance themselves throughout the summer.
Auburn kicks off its 2019 campaign on August 31 against the Oregon Ducks at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.