Auburn fall practice report, Day 8: Gus Malzahn ready to narrow QB race

Is Jeremy Johnson a legitimate contender at quarterback? Maybe so. - Todd Van Emst/Auburn University photo

The Tigers held their second scrimmage of the fall Saturday morning. What did the coaches learn about their team?

Saturday marked the second scrimmage of fall camp for Auburn, with Gus Malzahn and his coaching staff hoping to narrow down position battles and get an idea of the Tigers' depth. No major announcements were made following the closed practice, but Malzahn said he hopes to get a better idea of the various races for starting jobs after looking at the film.

Regarding the quarterback race, it sounds like there weren't any big developments for the most part. There was some good play -- maybe better than Wednesday's scrimmage -- and some not-so-good play. The only quarterback facing live contact was walk-on Tucker Tuberville, only because he didn't see any live action Wednesday. Malzahn said Nick Marshall, Jeremy Johnson, Jonathan Wallace and Kiehl Frazier were evaluated in specific situations on Saturday.

So, nothing really out of the ordinary there. The quarterback race seems to be progressing on roughly the same path we've been expecting. But wait ...

Well, that sort of throws a wrench in things. Up until this point, we've been thinking Marshall and Wallace were probably the top two quarterbacks in the race. But if Saturday's scrimmage was really meant to narrow it down and Johnson was the best player, you have to think he has a legitimate shot at winning the starting job. We still think Marshall will probably win out in the end, but it seems like it's time to keep and eye on Johnson.

Elsewhere, Ricardo Louis was the standout at wide receiver.

That's really great to hear. Auburn desperately needs someone to step up and become a go-to target on the outside. Louis has a ton of talent -- remember, he was a four-star prospect out of high school -- and his build (6'2, 215 pounds) is similar to former Alabama receiver Julio Jones. Combine that size with speed, and he has the necessary attributes to be a physical, big-play threat.

The last thing Auburn needs is an injury to potentially one of the Tigers' best defensive players. Hopefully, the boot is just a precaution and Justin Garrett will be back in action soon.

Auburn practices again in the afternoon, so we'll have to wait and see if the quarterback reps are adjusted based on the scrimmage.

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