Analyst shares damning opinion on Hugh Freeze's ability to find Auburn football a leader on offense

Nov 25, 2023; Auburn, Alabama, USA; Auburn Tigers head coach Hugh Freeze talks with game officials
Nov 25, 2023; Auburn, Alabama, USA; Auburn Tigers head coach Hugh Freeze talks with game officials / John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

On3's Jesse Simonton had a harsh assessment of Hugh Freeze's ability, or to Simonton, an inability, to tie all of the Auburn football program's skill position weapons with a capable offensive leader under center.

Simonton claimed that Freeze has "fumbled the bag" with his search for a quarterback to take the reins on the Plains.

“Auburn fans aren’t going to like to hear this," Simonton prefaced before saying, "They’ve already been in my mentions and gotten mad at me. I think Hugh has kind of fumbled the bag on this.

“He has done a great job assembling all of this talent around the quarterback position. They sign this insane wide receiver class with multiple five-stars – you flip (Cam) Coleman from Texas A&M, you get (Perry) Thompson as another in-state guy. Yet, who the heck is going to throw them the ball?”

Auburn football may have fumbled in 2023, but Hugh Freeze also may have found the future of the Tigers at QB

It's hard to look at the first season under Freeze as a masterpiece of quarterbacking. Quite the opposite, actually.

Not only did Payton Thorne struggle mightily, but Robby Ashford was denied his chance to run his own drive after a strong finish to the 2022 season with Cadillac Williams as interim head coach; leading to the Hoover native taking his talents to South Carolina this offseason. Holden Geriner never proved mobile enough in the pocket, and that was exposed during his brief burn in the Music City Bowl.

One year of subpar signal-calling does not mean Freeze has fumbled, though. Not with Walker White coming to campus and Hank Brown serving as an intriguing backup due to being exposed as ready for the moment during the Music City Bowl.

College football narratives change quickly. Auburn's feels most likely to flip in 2024 given how disappointing things were at many points in 2023 and the work Freeze put in to avoid a repeat in his second season.