Hugh Freeze can raise Auburn football ceiling with New Mexico State's QB: Analyst

One analyst believes Hugh Freeze can raise his Auburn football program's ceiling with New Mexico State's quarterback.
New Mexico State v Auburn
New Mexico State v Auburn / Michael Chang/GettyImages

FanSided's Cody Williams believes Hugh Freeze's Auburn football program can see its ceiling raise with New Mexico State transfer Diego Pavia under center in 2024; this after going for 201 passing yards and three touchdowns against the Tigers in Week 12's unfathomable 31-10 upset at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Williams did note, though, that he sees an even higher upside for USC's Malachi Nelson, a swing-for-the-fences transfer portal target.

"Pavia certainly doesn't have the upside, particularly as a thrower, that someone like Malachi Nelson does, but he is more than serviceable in that regard and add so much value with his rushing ability," Williams wrote. "That sounds like a player Freeze could certainly maximize the value of and raise the ceiling of the offense with.

"His late entry in the portal and the possible fit with Freeze at Auburn could have an immediate and long-term impact on the Tigers. More importantly, the timing could be something that gets the head coach to at least reconsider jumping into the portal for a QB."

Diego Pavia the perfect type of Auburn football transfer portal target

Pavia is not someone who is any threat to stealing the starting job from Payton Thorne, so he fits into the role of what Freeze is looking for in a transfer portal addition.

“We’re on the same page, and I think things are going well right now,” Thorne said of Freeze's vote of confidence in a second season with the Michigan State transfer under center (h/t “I really enjoy playing for Coach Freeze, and I’m excited for what the future’s going to hold. I want to come back another year, and that’s what I told him. We had a good talk and I’m excited for where we’re headed.”

As another starting-caliber QB, Pavia provides options, but he doesn't shift the narrative in the way a Nelson would. Freeze is seemingly set on Thorne, Holden Geriner, and Walker White, so the narrative is fine where it is. Pavia is a status quo play, and for the first time in a while, the status quo is desired on the Plains.