'Non-zero chance' Auburn football transfer who became star at Texas State can return

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl - Texas State v Rice
SERVPRO First Responder Bowl - Texas State v Rice / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

College Football Network's James Fragoza believes there's a "non-zero chance" that Hugh Freeze will bring back TJ Finley, to his Auburn football program.

"There’s a nonzero chance Finley returns to Auburn after spending just one season away," Fragoza wrote. "Hugh Freeze needs a quarterback he can win with, or his time with the Tigers will be shorter than Finley’s first stint was.

"Finley is an improved QB from the last time he donned orange and blue, and the need to perform from both sides could lead to a resurgence in the SEC."

That "non-zero chance" is probably about a 5% chance at best. Freeze was unimpressed with both Finley and Robby Ashford last spring, seeing neither as SEC-caliber QBs and bringing on Payton Thorne to solve that problem.

The problem went unsolved, but the hope is that Hank Brown or Walker White can be ready to take the reins, if Thorne doesn't look improved, by A-Day. If not, the May transfer portal cycle is an option -- but Finley isn't an option for AU in that scenario.

Former Auburn football QB TJ Finley entered portal as Jayden de Laura transferred to Texas State

KSAT's Nick Mantas reports that Finley didn't know that Jayden de Laura -- who spent two years at Wazzu before two years at Arizona -- was transferring to Texas State when the six-foot-seven QB made his decision.

"T.J. Finley thanks Texas State as he enters the transfer portal saying, 'business is business' as he looks for his next home," Mantas prefaced before saying, "He told multiple people that he had no idea (de Laura) was transferring in from Arizona when making this decision."

de Laura has an even higher ceiling than Finley, so the Bobcats may continue ascending the Sun Belt ranks. As for the Ponchatoula native, a fourth team in five years is the most likely ending to his story. And if he returns anywhere, it'd be LSU.