Hugh Freeze has his quarterback: first-year Tiger and Michigan State transfer Payton Thorne. Because of that, according to Saturday Down South’s Matt Hayes, Freeze isn’t trying to keep his Auburn football backup quarterbacks, Robby Ashford and Holden Geriner, “happy and engaged” at the expense of Thorne and the offense.
“For the first time this season, Freeze is speaking with clarity about the quarterback position,” Hayes prefaced before saying, “He’s not couching words, he’s not trying keep backups Ashford and Holden Geriner happy and engaged.” Hayes was referring to a recent comment from Freeze in which he stated that Thorne’s skillsets “are the most prepared for what we are doing.”
With all that said, it should be noted that Geriner has impressed Freeze recently and could become the second quarterback in Freeze’s multi-QB system should the formerly unpopular arrangement remain over the final three games.
“I think Holden had one heck of a week last week and he can really spin it,” Freeze said at his weekly press conference on November 6 (h/t Montgomery Advertiser). “… I think he’s got a bright future.”
As for the other backup QB in the room…
Robby Ashford is likely done with Auburn football program
There’s a nearly 100% chance, barring a drastic change of events, that Ashford has taken his last snap for the Auburn Tigers after emerging as a fan favorite in 2022 after taking over the starting job from TJ Finley.
Given recent leaks from sources close to the team — revealing the Hoover native’s opposition to Freeze as head coach due to a personal preference for Cadillac Williams — the relationship between the player and the program is all but irreparable.
Ashford did not take his backup role and lack of snaps in a two-QB system that clearly favored Thorne well, and he’ll likely be transfer portal-bound. Look out for UAB and Jacksonville State to be potential landing spots.