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Quarterbacks more confident, says Auburn's Gus Malzahn
John Franklin III looks to pass in Auburn practice

Aug. 5, 2016

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. Alex Kozan smiled a veteran's smile Thursday. He was too experienced, too savvy, too smart to answer a media question on who Auburn's starting quarterback will be. 

"You tell me,'' said the offensive lineman. 

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn isn't saying, either, because he says the race is continuing between Sean White, Jeremy Johnson and John Franklin III. White and Johnson each started for Auburn last season. Franklin is the junior college transfer who joined the race in the spring. 

Malzahn said all three looked good in the first two days of preseason practice Wednesday and Thursday, and now Auburn will step up its game Friday when it switches to full pads for the first time. 

Malzahn said he's encouraged about his quarterbacks. 

''They're more confident. They're more attention to detail,'' Malzahn said. ''They know when they do something wrong they can correct themselves. There is a great competition. All three of those guys are rolling up their sleeves and they're competing trying to win the job. They're much improved from the spring, but we expected them to do that.'' 

Kozan offered this critique.

 ''Each one of them is really locked in, each are being great teammates encouraging everybody. A lot of positive signs. All of them are really bringing their best effort for every reps. Hopefully, after a couple scrimmages we'll get a better idea.'' 



Malzahn also said... 

*He liked what he saw of his newcomers. 

''We got some good information about our young guys from the first two days as far as the talent level. It looks like we've got some guys that are extremely talented. They just need to figure out what's going on and learn their assignments.'' 

*Stephen Davis Jr., the son of the former Auburn running back, is getting a look at his dad's old position. 

''He's a big, athletic guy. He was a very good football player, really on both sides of the ball, coming out of high school. He's still figuring out what's going on, but he's a big guy that can run. After we get in pads a little bit, we'll have a little more information as far as he goes.'' 

His future? 

''I know the defense would take him at safety. We were talking about safety. We decided to put him at running back first and give him a chance to do that and we'll see how it goes.'' 

*Malzahn said Kerryon Johnson has looked good in early work. He returns to the backfield with the most rushing yards of all the running backs.

Others have looked good, too. 

''Kameron Martin has a lot of talent. He's a guy, really the last two days, that has stood out. When we got him here, we knew he was a special-type talent. It was just a matter of how quick he could figure it out. He's extremely quick and has a lot of natural things to him. He's a real attention to detail guy. It's real important to him. That's encouraging. 

"Malik Miller is another guy: He is much improved from the spring. He really stood up to me in a positive way the first two days, too. We've got some guys battling. That competition is always going to be good. But I would say the two older guys in (Kamyrn) Pettway and Kerryon Johnson and probably Chandler Cox, they were all very good to me.''
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:

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