Auburn, Ala.--Following a rough three week start to the 2015 season for quarterback Jeremy Johnson, Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn announced on Tuesday that the Tigers are making a change at the position this week with redshirt freshman Sean White taking over as the starter heading into Saturday's game against Mississippi State.
We're going to make a change at quarterback this week and Sean White is going to be our starter," Malzahn said. "Sean is in a good spot. He's practiced well. We have a lot of confidence in him.
"Sean White is a guy that has got a lot of reps. He's responded very well in practice and very well in scrimmages. Just feel like he needs a shot right now and we've got a lot of confidence in him."
A talented quarterback in his own right that is known as a very accurate and smart player, White will see his first career action as a starter against a talented Mississippi State defense. While it's not the perfect scenario to make a change Malzahn said at this point they felt like it was the best thing for the offense.
"Anytime you change quarterbacks it's not an easy decision," he added. "Really, probably today is when I went ahead, me and Coach (Rhett) Lashlee, made the decision. We feel like that's what's best for the offense right now.
"It's pretty unique," he added. "It is a little surprising but at the same time from a coaching standpoint, you have to do each week what you feel like is best for your team and for your offense. That's where we're at. We have confidence in him. I'm looking forward to seeing Sean. He's a guy that can flat-out throw it and he can run it to. He's got that little air of confidence that quarterback have."
White had a monster senior season at University (Fla.) School in Nova, throwing for 2,679 yards and 30 touchdowns with five interceptions. Named the MVP of the Elite 11 as well as the Under Armour All-American Game, White is a player that has the confidence of his teammates said offensive tackle Shon Coleman.
"He throws the ball well," Coleman said. "Every time I see him throw the ball, he's an accurate passer. He has that 'it' factor, like coach Malzahn says. He's a great leader, so I think he'll do a great job."
Expected to be one of the top quarterbacks in the Southeastern Conference heading into the season, Johnson has completed 59.7 percent of his passes for 473 yards and five touchdowns, but the six interceptions is the key number for the junior out of Montgomery. Malzahn said for him it's not over because he'll continue to get reps and be ready if called upon.
"Jeremy is a competitor but he's a team guy too," Malzahn said. "He'll support Sean. He'll get reps still in practice and he'll be ready if he's called upon."