Spring Football Preview: Quarterbacks

We look at the quarterbacks in the final position preview before the start of spring practice.

Auburn, Ala.--The most scrutinized competition for the Auburn Tigers during spring football practice will no doubt be the battle between Clint Moseley, Kiehl Frazier and Zeke Pike for the starting quarterback position.

With Barrett Trotter deciding to forgo his redshirt senior season, Moseley will enter spring practice as the only quarterback on the roster with a college start under his belt.

The Leroy native started the Tigers' last six games last season after taking over for Trotter in the second half against Florida, but shared quarterback duties with Frazier, who was brought in as a change of pace QB to run the read-option in Gus Malzahn's offense.

Last season Moseley completed 66 of his 108 pass attempts for 800 yards, with five touchdowns and three interceptions.

Moseley has recovered from a high-ankle sprain that sidelined him in the first quarter of the Tigers' win over Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. He should be full speed entering spring practice.

If Loeffler decides to utilize the rushing abilities of his quarterbacks in a way similar to Malzahn, his most dangerous weapon will be Frazier.

Frazier enters spring practice as the Tigers' second leading rusher returning from last season. He carried the ball 76 times for 327 yards and three touchdowns.

Kiehl Frazier runs the football vs. South Carolina.

However, the true sophomore will need to use spring practice to develop his skills as a passer after having limited attempts and seeming hesitant on his throws at times last season. Frazier attempted only 12 passes, completing five for 34 yards with two picks.

Pike, who enrolled early in January, will be another option at quarterback for the Tigers.

The Fort Mitchell, Ky., native threw for 1,964 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior last season for his Dixie Heights High team. He also rushed for 730 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground as well.

Zeke Pike is shown at all-star practice prior to the U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio in January.

It's extremely difficult for a true freshman quarterback to earn a starting spot in the Southeastern Conference, although enrolling early and going through spring practice certainly doesn't hurt his chances.

Loeffler said he is excited to get on the field and begin working with the quarterbacks said he is looking for the guy who has what he calls the "it factor."

Defining the characteristic, he said, "The ‘it' factor--intelligence, toughness and the ability to run and throw. At the end of the day I would love a 6-4, 235-pound guy that has a high SAT score, is a leader in every sense of the word, the kind of guy that when you walk into a school and ask the janitor, the teacher and the counselor what kind of guy he is and they all say he's a five-star guy.

"We're looking for a guy that has the ‘it' factor. At the end of the day the ‘it' factor is how we win at that position. You better have talent of course, but talent without the ‘it' factor and you're not going to win too many games with that guy."

Phenix City native Jonathan Wallace will enter the quarterback mix in fall camp after enrolling in the summer following graduation from Central High School.

The Tigers will hit the field Friday for the first of 15 spring practices, with Auburn's annual A-Day game scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 14.

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