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'Real football': Auburn quarterbacks head to big scrimmage
Gus Malzahn checks in on Sean White at practice
Aug. 7, 2016

By Charles Goldberg
AuburnTigers.com

AUBURN, Ala. Gus Malzahn said Sunday all three of his quarterbacks vying for the starting job can run Auburn's offense, so the head coach was naturally asked if he'd consider playing all three quarterbacks in the same game.

Pause.

"I doubt," he said, "that will happen."

Then, Gus, if you'd talk about the wide receivers…

"Unless there's a trick play."

Gus Malzahn gave the media the ol' head fake Sunday in the midst of a real quarterback race between Sean White, Jeremy Johnson and John Franklin III. One will be named the starter soon enough, and a Tuesday scrimmage in Jordan-Hare Stadium could go a long way in determining the winner.

Malzahn didn't say he'd name a starter after the scrimmage, but allowed a "I guess it's always possible." He said he'll know when it is time.

"I think it's just knowing for sure and that gut feeling," he said. "When you've coached 26 years, you just know and usually the team knows, too. We've put them in a lot of competitive situations the first five days. We'll scrimmage, and you know when you scrimmage and you move the football and you play real football and the decision-making and everything that goes with really stands out.

"Scrimmages are more important, but I can't answer the question as far as could we name one after the scrimmage. We'll see."

Malzahn said White, Johnson and Franklin, all of whom were tested in the spring, will wear no-contact jerseys. Freshman Woody Barrett will be live to see how he handles the pressure.

Malzahn said White, Johnson and Franklin have come through summer workouts and the first five days of preseason practice in fine shape, saying they are "much improved from the spring."

"I’m hoping somebody out of the three steps up so we can name a guy, like I said, sooner than later."

Malzahn also said…

*Freshman walk-on running back Stephen Davis Jr. will sit out this season and rehab his surgically-repaired knee. He tore his ACL last September.

*Linebacker Tre Williams' didn't practice Sunday after hurting his ankle Saturday. "We do expect him back soon, and he’s day to day."

*Auburn will take its first off day of the preseason Monday.

"I think we went five days and we strained them, really put it on them. The heat has been very intense, which is always good to get the guys prepared as far as that goes.

"Overall, I would say the first five days of practice has been a success from the standpoint of leadership, the standpoint of coachability, playing together. I think our defense has really improved each day. I think our offense has done some very good things at times."

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter:

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