By David Mitchell, email@example.com
AUBURN, Ala. – It wasn’t long into the press conference introducing Gus Malzahn as the new Auburn football coach that questions concerning the quarterback position arose.
The position was held first by Kiehl Frazier this past season before he gave way to Clint Moseley and, ultimately, freshman Central graduate Jonathan Wallace. Now, it figures to be a point of emphasis in Malzahn’s process of rebuilding the team.
Wallace was in the front row as Malzahn announced that every position would be an open competition when the team began practicing.
With a laugh, Wallace explained later he understands the process and is just eager to get back to work. He started the final four games of Auburn’s 3-9 season, but should see competition from Frazier and potentially verbal commitment Jeremy Johnson, a four-star recruit out of Carver-Montgomery.
“It’s just a matter of taking it all in and getting back to work,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing. For this program to get back to where it needs to be, it’s going to take a lot of dedication and a lot of hard work from everybody.”
There will be changes, Wallace said, though he hopes his position isn’t one of them. One thing that has to stay the same, however, is his approach.
“It has to be the same,” he said. “Spending a lot of time in that film room. It’s going to take a lot.”
Wallace obviously never had the opportunity to play under Malzahn, but he did say that there is a certain level of familiarity for him.
He attended every home game in 2010 and was able to get a good look at how the team ran its offense. It wasn’t a lot different from what he did in high school.
“Of course, the terminology is different,” Wallace said. “But, it’s just a matter of getting back to the spread. It’s going to be exciting.”
The young quarterback said that he has had the opportunity to speak with Malzahn in the past. Since the hire, however, he has only had the opportunity to shake his hand during a team meeting.
“Hopefully, I’ll be able to get with him this week,” Wallace said.
During the process, Wallace said that he never really knew what to expect. Now that the process is complete, though, he and his team is ready to move forward.
“There was a lot of uncertainty for who would be the guy,” Wallace said. “Now that they’ve named someone, Coach Malzahn, guys are just ready to get to work.”
And he had one optimistic message for the team’s future.
“We’re going to get back on top.”