Auburn football: Is Bryan Harsin trying to replace Bo Nix with T.J. Finley?

Auburn football Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
Auburn football Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports /

The foundations of Auburn football’s offense have been built around rising junior quarterback Bo Nix for the past two years, but that could change this fall if the coaching staff lands a key QB transfer from the NCAA transfer portal.

After entering the transfer portal earlier this month, former LSU quarterback T.J. Finley still has not made a decision about where he will be playing in the 2021-22 season. According to Garland Gillen, Finley has narrowed down his options to Alabama, Auburn, Penn State, and Texas.

Out of those four, Auburn football seems to be the best option for Finley. According to 247Sports, Penn State will be returning a multi-year starter at the QB position, and Texas has plenty of talent in the position between rising junior Casey Thompson and redshirt freshman Hudson Card. Fly War Eagle site co-editor Andrew Hughes broke down why in-state rival Alabama wouldn’t be a smart landing place for Finley if he expects to compete for a starting position.

So, does this mean that T.J. Finley is headed to the Plains to replace two-year starter Bo Nix?

Not exactly. Bo Nix has earned the title of QB1, as of now, and if Finley were to commit to Auburn football he would have to compete for that starting role. However, Finley made it clear that Bryan Harsin and the coaching staff would give him an equal opportunity to earn the spot from Nix:

"“They have a new system going in, and they feel like I fit their system, and it’s a lot of things that they are telling me that are very promising,” Finley said. “Not saying they’re promising me anything, but it’s promising as far as the future. It’s basically that I can come in and compete for the starting job, and if I were good enough to be the No. 1 guy, I would be the No. 1 guy.”"

At the very least, a fresh quarterback with SEC experience could put Nix on the hot seat and force him to work even harder to improve his game. While Bo Nix will probably be the starter for game one versus Akron, it doesn’t mean that Finley couldn’t take the job if Nix doesn’t appear improved from the past two seasons.

Bryan Harsin may not be attempting to replace Tiger fans’ beloved two-year starter, but he’s definitely trying to stack up QB depth and give Nix the push he needs to be great.

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