Kenny Dillingham reveals what ex-Auburn football HC Gus Malzahn told him about Bo Nix before QB arrived on campus

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix (10) throws the ball as Auburn offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham
Auburn quarterback Bo Nix (10) throws the ball as Auburn offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham / Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK

Kenny Dillingham was told by then-Auburn football head coach Gus Malzahn in 2019 that he was "set" at quarterback because of incoming 5-star freshman Bo Nix; something that was revealed during the Grit and Glory docuseries.

“I was recruited to Auburn from the head coach, and he literally told me ‘we have Bo Nix coming. You’re set.’” Dillingham said (h/t Ducks Digest). “The amount of hype around this and Auburn was gigantic.”

Malzahn was right in many ways. Nix delivered nine wins in his first season under center and knocked off Alabama in his first Iron Bowl; something that was revealed to be his only dream growing up as opposed to playing in the NFL.

Unfortunately, Nix went backwards in his sophomore season, slumping under Chad Morris and losing the narrative he gained during his freshman season. Malzahn's underwhelming offensive coordinator hire, plus his attitude toward a six-win season -- calling it a success despite losing to South Carolina in one of the worst losses the program suffered in the Malzahn era -- led to his dismissal.

Of course, the Bryan Harsin era beat the joy out of Nix's Plains tenure and caused him to look elsewhere -- leading him to Oregon and a two-year run that made him a first-round NFL draft pick.

Bo Nix leaving Auburn football was best thing to ever happen to him

It's undeniable at this point: Nix leaving Auburn gave him everything he could've possibly looked for after peaking on the Plains during the 2019 Iron Bowl. Sure, the 2021 season was his true statistical peak, but there were calls to replace him as QB1 with TJ Finley.

That doesn't sound like peaking.

No one would've thought that Nix can step into an NFL offense and immediately be the answer back in 2020 and 2021. Leading the Ducks to 22 wins, including two bowl game wins, in two years is why NFL execs see him thriving with the Denver Broncos.