Polarizing former Auburn football quarterback TJ Finley has gone from benched in favor of Robby Ashford in 2022 on the Plains to “elite” in 2023 starting under center for Texas State according to College Football Network’s Cam Mellor — who had Finley atop his Sun Belt QB rankings and only Finley in his “elite” tier.
“A new leader in the clubhouse, TJ Finley officially makes the leap to the Elite Tier in our Sun Belt QB Rankings,” Mellor wrote after a 338-yard day against Southern Mississippi on September 30, good for Finley’s career-high. “Finley has been lights out for the Texas State Bobcats, throwing for 10 touchdowns against just a single interception and multiple TDs in each victory this year.
“His big arm is apparent and he’s picking his shots wisely as the Bobcats are off to an impressive 4-1 start. Avoiding a sluggish drop-off from scripted offense to in-game plays is the only thing this offense needs to work on.”
TJ Finley’s new coach: Former Auburn football QB an ‘NFL QB’ who just ‘needs to be in the right system’
As Finley’s new coach GJ Kinne said on the Andy Staples On3 show on September 5 following the QB’s breakout performance against Baylor in Week 1’s biggest upset, Finley is really an “NFL QB” who just “needs to be in the right system.”
“I think he’s an NFL quarterback,” Kinne prefaced before saying, “He’s got the size, he’s got the arm. He just needed to be in the right system. If you look at his career, the guys that recruited him for their system kind of left. So it was a situation where we felt really confident in his abilities, we just had to get him here.”
Tiger fans, from both Auburn and LSU, would scoff at Kinne’s remarks. But Finley’s continued dominance on the field, coupled with his massive six-foot-seven frame, more than likely will have an NFL team taking a flier on his potential and improvement.