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January 15, 2013

ESPN college football writer says Auburn will be the nation’s most improved team in 2013

AUBURN, Ala. — Among ESPN’s Mark Schlabach’s ten bold predictions for the 2013 season published Tuesday, he felt Auburn is primed for a big bounceback effort under the new coaching regime.

Also from Schlabach’s crystal ball, he looks for a dark horse to line up at quarterback for Auburn next fall.

Here’s what Schlabach wrote:

“No. 10: Auburn will be the most improved team in the country.

“The Tigers can’t get any worse after finishing 3-9, 0-8 in the SEC this past season. Things were so bad that coach Gene Chizik was fired only two years after guiding the Tigers to a BCS National Championship.

“Auburn hired former Arkansas State coach Gus Malzahn to fix things; he directed Auburn’s offense during its national championship season in 2010. Malzahn has already found his quarterback of the future: former Georgia defensive back Nick Marshall, who threw for 2,837 yards with 18 touchdowns, while running for 949 yards with 18 scores at Garden City (Kan.) Community College this past season.

“Marshall, who was dismissed from Georgia two years ago, will beat out Kiehl Frazier for Auburn’s starting job in preseason camp and will become one of the country’s most exciting dual-threat quarterbacks in Malzahn’s spread offense.”

Marshall told the Ledger-Enquirer Monday he is verbally committed to Malzahn and plans to sign with Auburn on Feb. 6, National Signing Day.

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