Hugh Freeze sends in definitive vote of confidence for incumbent Auburn football QB1

Hugh Freeze sent a definitive vote of confidence in for the Auburn football program's incumbent starting quarterback.

Auburn Tigers head coach Hugh Freeze talks with quarterback Payton Thorne (1) on the sidelines
Auburn Tigers head coach Hugh Freeze talks with quarterback Payton Thorne (1) on the sidelines / Mickey Welsh / Advertiser / USA TODAY
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Hugh Freeze sent in a definitive vote of confidence for his Auburn football program's starting quarterback, Payton Thorne; lauding the former Michigan State transfer's ability to win throughout his career in East Lansing and, to a lesser degree, Auburn, and claiming that the QB room would be fine as it stands.

"We have one of the top returning QBs in Power Five with wins," Freeze said (h/t On3's Justin Hokanson). "I believe if we get the right pieces around him...I think our QB room will be fine next year. That is my belief. I thought he showed, once he settled in, what he could do."

Thorne will be joined in the QB room by 2024 4-star Walker White, redshirted Hank Brown, and Holden Geriner if he doesn't join Robby Ashford in the transfer portal. Perhaps a big-name portal arm isn't in the cards this offseason with the room already standing at four if Geriner does decide to stay.

Hugh Freeze doesn't have same chance to relationship-build in transfer portal as with high school recruiting for Auburn football

As Hokanson would later point out, recruiting in the modern age of the transfer portal is a much different beast for Freeze than traditional high school recruitment over a period of months and even years.

"Freeze talked about his strength in building relationships, but there really isn't time for all that in portal recruiting," Hokanson wrote.

Freeze's ability to bring on two top-10 receivers in Cam Coleman and Perry Thompson from the 2024 class is the Oxford, Mississippi's native's magnum opus on the Plains thus far, and instilling confidence in the portal QB he did form a relationship with (Thorne) could be his next stroke of genius.

On the flip side, the swarms of Tiger fans who wanted Thorne out from under center midseason could hold it against Freeze if this confidence backfires during Auburn's first season in a new-and-improved SEC.

The Auburn coach warned that trying to replace Thorne with a portal option could mean losing him and/or Geriner.

"If you go get one, you're probably going to lose Payton and Holden," Freeze prefaced before saying, "So you better be right."

Sounds as though, Freeze is rocking with what he's already got in the QB room. To be fair, Coleman and Thompson did commit with this room locked in place.