AUBURN, Ala. – Just as plants need water and cars need fuel, Gus Malzahn’s spread-out system needs a capable quarterback.
Auburn’s QB derby in Malzahn’s first year as head coach is close to gaining another horse.
Former Georgia athlete Nick Marshall, who spent the past year at Garden City CC (Kan.), confirmed Monday he plans to sign with Auburn for the upcoming season.
He has not yet been officially accepted to school, and Auburn University expects to review his academic transcript over the next couple of days. Marshall said he picked the Tigers while considering Texas, Kansas State and Indiana.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Marshall was a four-star prep cornerback recruit out of Wilcox County in Rochelle, Ga., where he was also a star basketball player and long jumper. But after visiting with Malzahn and wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig this past weekend, he knew exactly which position group he’d join at Auburn.
“Yeah, I’m playing quarterback. 100 percent,” Marshall told the Ledger-Enquirer Monday night. “That (spread offense) is what I’m made for.”
Marshall was recruited out of high school by Craig when he was at Florida State, and again this past fall by Malzahn to Arkansas State.
Following his freshman season at Georgia, Marshall was dismissed along with two teammates a year ago for a violation of team rules, which was later reported to be theft of teammates’ cash from a dorm room.
Marshall quickly latched on with Garden City, switching back to quarterback and scoring 37 touchdowns (19 rushing, 18 passing) in 11 games, named the Kansas Jayhawk CCC Player of the Year. He was listed as a three-star athlete junior college prospect by 247sports.com, and will return to the SEC.
“He’s the best athlete I’ve ever seen,” said Marshall’s high school coach Mark Ledford, Wilcox County’s head coach since 2001.
“He just does everything well. I mean, there’s not many that have it. There’s not many things athletically that Nick Marshall cannot do.”
Marshall has already flown back to Kansas, and will finish out the semester at Garden City in May – meaning spring football drills are out of the question. If Auburn’s admissions office accepts his transcript, Marshall plans to officially commit on National Signing Day, Feb. 6, and enroll for summer courses.
Marshall would compete for the starting job with sophomore Kiehl Frazier, freshman Jonathan Wallace and perhaps four-star prep Jeremy Johnson out of Carver Montgomery. Clint Moseley, who along with Frazier and Wallace started games in 2012, is foregoing his senior year of eligibility.
Leading Garden City to a 7-4 record in 2012, Marshall completed 57.1 percent of his passes for 3,142 yards, and was also the Broncbusters’ top rusher with 1,095 yards. He did have ball security issues, throwing 20 interceptions and fumbling eight times, losing five.
“When I left Georgia, I just wanted to start over,” Marshall said. “I wanted to try quarterback, and I think it was the right decision.”
Auburn hosts Marshall’s former squad, Georgia, on Nov. 16.
In other recruiting news, five-star defensive lineman Dee Liner has decommitted from Auburn, according to multiple reports. He had been a verbal commit to the Tigers for two years, but will no longer consider Auburn after meeting with the new coaching staff.