Hugh Freeze channeled his inner Frank Sinatra while discussing the conclusion of the Auburn football quarterback battle ahead of the 2023 season — stating simply, “that’s life,” when referencing Robby Ashford and Holden Geriner, the QBs that Michigan State transfer Payton Thorne beat out for the job.
“That’s not easy because you watched those other two kids compete hard for it and train all summer and work for this moment,” Freeze said after naming Thorne the starter (h/t AL.com). “But you know what, that’s life. Everyone doesn’t always gets the prize that they want.” Freeze insinuated that Thorne needs to continuously earn the job, though, especially if Ashford is going to push him for it.
“It was not a slam dunk,” Freeze said. “I hope that everyone will handle it right… And trust me, once someone gets that job they have to hold onto it. Hopefully the others work every day to press to make me feel like I need to second-guess that. That’s the hope.”
Hugh Freeze wants multiple Auburn football quarterbacks to be ready to play
Freeze doesn’t plan on just handing the ball to Thorne and letting the Naperville, Illinois product run the offense unsupervised. Instead, Freeze plans on having a whole room’s worth of quarterbacks ready to jump in at a moment’s notice.
“This is the way it should be,” Freeze prefaced before saying, “At this level of a program, we ought to have three or four quarterbacks that can push each other. Every game is going to be different, but the one thing I’ve said is that that guy’s different, now. He’s got to get some touches. And (Thorne) threw it well today.”
Ashford is almost assuredly going to be getting special change-of-pace packages designed for his skillset; a skillset that happens to be a perfect fit in first-year offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery’s offense. What other role each QB plays is to be determined.
No matter what, you might say that Freeze wants each of his QBs to pick himself up and get back in the race each time he falls flat on his face. Because that’s life. Or the life Freeze wants for his QB room in 2023.