On3’s Jesse Simonton had a strong message about the underwhelming spring performance of the Auburn football QB room — proclaiming that Hugh Freeze’s current QB targets, Payton Thorne and Casey Thompson, are better than Robby Ashford, TJ Finley, and Holden Geriner.
Simonton even went as far as to say that either would bring them from a five or six-win team to the third-best team in the SEC West.
“While the second window doesn’t have much star power, particularly at the quarterback position, Hugh Freeze suddenly does have a couple of intriguing options to (ideally) add to Auburn’s roster that would change the ceiling of the Tigers’ 2023 season, Simonton wrote. “Nebraska transfer quarterback Casey Thompson visited Auburn on Sunday. Michigan State transfer Peyton Thorne is expected to visit the Plains soon, too. Both are better options than anyone currently in Auburn’s QB room, and would take the Tigers from a fringe bowl team in the fall to a team that could beat anyone on its schedule not named Georgia, LSU or Alabama.”
Analyst: Hugh Freeze ‘selective’ with Auburn football QB targets, passed on Alabama addition
Reading into Simonton’s comments, it’s clear that Freeze didn’t feel recently landed Alabama transfer Tyler Buchner, who previously had experience with new Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Tommy Rees at Notre Dame, was up to snuff as an Auburn football transfer portal addition.
“During the second portal window, Freeze has been rather selective in his targeting a potential addition to Auburn’s QB room,” Simonton prefaced before saying, “He showed no interest in Tyler Buchner, who ended up at Alabama and has passed on others who were available, too.”
To be fair, AU may be in a better position under center than Alabama. Ashford and Finley have more big-game experience than the likes of Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson.
Watching Freeze so thoroughly vet his transfer portal options should inspire hope. It’s clear that chemistry is something the new Tigers head coach values, unlike the last head coach whose locker room was in shambles.