Friday, February 13, 2009
Who Wants To Be An Auburn QB? The 2009 Version.
Quarterback. it's the make or break it position in college football. no team without one has a realistic chance of winning a title. it could be argued that there isn't a more important position in the world of sports, Pro or College. sadly Auburn has been without a truly great one since Stan White. as much talent as Jason Campbell had, he really only shined his senior year. Dameyune Craig was the last play maker we had at the position...but that never resulted in any titles. timing is a bitch. if Auburn is ever going to win another SEC title again then someone has to step up at this position and become and leader and a winner.
but does Auburn even have a guy on the team right now who can be that guy? hell, they don't even really know who their starter is going to be next year.
Kodi Burns would of course be the early leader in the clubhouse to be the starter in 09, but he hasn't exactly been the model of consistency when he has been given the opportunity to play. one would argue that Kodi should have been redshirted his freshman year and never been forced onto the field in 07 thereby wasting a year of his eligibility, that same line of thought would also tell you that you should probably cut the kid some slack when Tony Franklin did everything he could to push Chris Todd as the guy last year...hurting Kodi's confidence and never giving him much of a chance to succeed. once Franklin was shuffled out the door the offense turned into a flaming pile of dogshit and despite Burns best efforts (he did show us something against Ole Miss and UGA) it just wasn't happening. hell, not even Sam Bradford could've made the grab bag of garbage go at the end of the year.
when i look at the kid i am reminded of two other QBs by the names of Dennis Dixon and Jason Campbell who had their talents wasted for 3 seasons before the light clicked on for each of them and they emerged as stars. i'm holding out hope that Burns will have the same sort of transformation under Gus Malzhan that Jason Campbell did under Al Borges and i think most positive Tigers fans feel the same way.
of course if you ever head on over to trackemtigers.com and wait for any post about the QB position or the offense in general you'll get a quick dose of Kodi haters who'll be quick to point out that Burns sucks and that's he's stupid. whenever i see people making judgements about the intelligence of a young QB who happens to be black the racism alarm goes off in my brain. it can't be helped. i grew up in the South, i know how people think and i hear what they say when they think they can get away with it. when a white QB struggles you would often hear a number of accusations thrown his way, rarely are they ever about his mental capacity. i mean i called Brandon Cox all sorts of unflattering things...but i never said he was a dumbass.
regardless as to which side you stand on the Kodi debate, he's still the teams best option for next season and so i'd be surprised if he wasn't the starter next year. honestly i'd just like to see what the guy can do if he doesn't have to worry about looking over his shoulder.
of course that's probably too much to hope for. there are just too many damn QBs on the roster right now for there not to be an open competition in the Spring. so who's Kodi's biggest challenger?
Chris Todd came to the Plains last year after being hand selected by Tony Franklin to run the Spread Eagle. after both he and Burns played each other to a virtual tie in Spring ball, noone emerged as a favorite...so instead we got Co-QBs...but once Kodi was injured Franklin used this opportunity to push Todd into the starting role. sadly Todd had zero arm strength and even less mobility and it was kinda like watching Brandon Cox run the spread if Brandon didn't have any of his guts and leadership ability. after the season completely fell into the ocean Todd was benched and Burns was made the starter. Chris Todd had another shoulder surgery this offseason but it remains to be seen if he'll actually be able to take any snaps and compete for the job in the Spring. honestly i feel bad for the guy, but he'd probably best be served by transferring to a D-II school and just saving us all the trouble.
Neil Caudle was a Rivals & Scout 4 Star recruit, an EA Sports Elite 11 QB, and was seen as the heir apparent to Brandon Cox back in 2006...sadly the kid has never risen higher than 3rd on the depth charts. he's dealt with a number of injury issues all the way back to highschool that have pretty much killed his development, plus he was recruited to run Al Borges' West Coast offense and Auburn has obviously gone in a different direction. Caudle does have a good arm and some athletic ability...or at least that's what i thought when i watched him in last year's A-Day game and in the limited action he saw during the homecoming game last year. the biggest knock on Neil is that he loves to throw some interceptions (but hey, what Auburn QB doesn't?) i'm really surprised that he hasn't transferred to a different school already...he must just like Auburn a lot. i just don't ever see him getting a shot unless injuries are what put him on the field. for a kid who was recruited by Michigan, Louisville, Miami, and LSU you would have assumed that he'd have been a star at Auburn. this is why getting too excited about recruiting rankings is a bad idea.
the strongest challenger to Burns comes in the form of a lightly recruited redshirt fresman by the name of Barrett Trotter. last year during the Season Of Death, Tuberville strongly considered burning Trotter's redshirt and starting him against West Virginia...or at least he talked about it. that never happened, but ever since the Kodi haters have looked towards Barrett as their savior of the program. as the old saying goes, nobody is more popular than the backup quarterback. honestly i don't have any real opinions about Trotter as a player as i haven't ever seen him play...nor have most Auburn fans. what i do know is that he was a 3 star recruit (#46 rated QB in the nation by Scout) who had offers from Duke, Army, UAB, and Troy. when Auburn signed him i sorta just shrugged my shoulders and figured he'd be a career backup. he's a small guy at 6 foot 1 and 192 pounds, so it's not like he's got NFL size or anything. he had really great stats in highschool but then again so did all these other guys. i honestly think all the love being thrown Trotter's way is mostly just coming from the hope that he has to be better than Burns. i honestly don't believe it...but hey, i don't really know anything about the kid.
the current leader in the FUTURE SAVIOR OF AUBURN FOOTBALL comes in the form of our new recruit Mr. Tyrik Rollinson. he's the nation's number 2 dual threat prospect and comes from that great QB producing state of Texas. he's got eye popping numbers and seems custom built for Auburn's new offense. sadly he seems to have spent more time being awesome at football and less time doing his school work and there may be some issues with him qualifying. DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! assuming Rollinson does get into school there's going to be a pretty strong cry from some fans to get this kid on the field sooner instead of later, hell if you give me too many beers on a gameday that sees Auburn doing their typical FAILjob then i might be one of those idiots as well. honestly if Rollinson is the best QB then i'm ok with him starting but really i'd be a lot happier with him redshirting for a year and then competing for the job in 2010...or better yet being the starter in 2011. i mean he HE DOES HAVE A REALLY AWESOME HAIRCUT....but really i'd rather just not worry about us throwing another true freshman who isn't ready to the hungry wolfpacks of the SEC, if that's okay with you.
our final contestant in WHO WANTS TO BE AN AUBURN QB? would be in the form of our other new recruit, Clint Moseley. Moseley was MR. ALABAMA Football this season which is pretty fucking awesome for a guy who played at a tiny ass little school. he won 3 straight state titles as a starter and he's got winner written all over him. he's also got 3 stars attached to his Rivals profile and was most likely gonna go to South Alabama before Auburn came along and gave him a scholarship. if Moseley takes any snaps this season then it'll be because everyone else is either injured, dead, or missing. my most hopeful scenario for Moseley is that he redshirts and then is the backup for Rollinson until Tyrik wins Auburn a national title in his Junior year and then rides off into the sun for the NFL millions, leaving Moseley as the starter in his final season which also ends in a title...or something. hey, i can dream right?
so yeah, those are my thoughts. just MY thoughts. i don't really know what the fuck i am talking about and i don't really even have a point other than Kodi Burns still seems like the best option to me until someone proves me otherwise.
who are you rooting for in the QB crapshoot?