Posted: 9:00 a.m. Saturday, May 11, 2013
By Chris Fuhrmeister
When the news broke that quarterback Wes Lunt plans to transfer from Oklahoma State, immediate speculation on his final destination began. Some even wondered if Auburn would pursue Lunt, but don't expect the Tigers to make a serious run at the signal-caller.
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn told Al.com's Brandon Marcello that he's happy with the his current crop of QBs, and there's no reason to doubt his sincerity.
"We feel good about the guys we have," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn told AL.com before speaking Thursday to fans at a Tiger Trek event in Daphne. "We've got two guys currently, we've got three coming in. We feel like all of them can play."
Of course, Malzahn is referencing Kiehl Frazier and Jonathan Wallace, who fought for the starting job during the spring, and Jeremy Johnson, Nick Marshall and Jason Smith, who will throw their hats in the ring during fall camp. Neither Frazier nor Wallace looked great during the spring, and there's no guarantee Johnson, Marshall or Smith will be able to come in and take command of the offense this season.
Lunt showed some flashes of good things to come as a freshman, completing 61.8 percent of his passes for 1,108 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions in seven games. He was a four-star prospect out of high school, according to 247Sports, and even though he's a pro-style quarterback, Chris Todd's performance in 2009 proved Malzahn can work with a QB possessing Lunt's skill set. If the Tigers need a stopgap before Johnson, likely the quarterback of the future, is ready, a guy like Lunt would do just fine.
And that's exactly why Lunt won't be coming to Auburn: He has to sit out a year if he transfers to another FBS school. Malzahn would work with a pro-style quarterback for a year if needed, but that's not what he wants to build his offense around for years to come. He met with ex-Florida St. Seminole Clint Trickett last month because, as a graduate student, Trickett will be able to play this year.
Lunt could transfer to Auburn, redshirt in 2013 and probably have three successful seasons as the Tigers' QB. But Malzahn no doubt believes he can either recruit or develop a mobile playmaker that can the offense to his exact specifications. He's not going to wait around for a player that doesn't have his preferred skills to move on in a few years.
By the start of the 2014 season, Malzahn will have exactly who he wants taking snaps -- and that isn't Lunt.