- You can wager on which Auburn QB will be the team’s Week 1 starter
- Joey Gatewood is favored over Bo Nix, even though Nix was a more highly-rated recruit
- Who is the best bet to start the Tigers’ season opener vs Oregon (Aug. 31)?
The Auburn Tigers kick off the 2019 college football season August 31st with a stiff test against Oregon, but it remains a mystery who their starting quarterback will be.
Freshman Bo Nix and sophomore Joey Gatewood are both vying for the coveted role and, with preseason camp set to open in a few days, it appears Gatewood has the early advantage.
Odds to be Auburn’s Starting QB in Week 1
|Player||Odds to be Auburn’s Starting QB vs Oregon (at BetOnline)|
*Odds taken 07/30/19
Most experts expected Nix, a five-star recruit and the son of a former Auburn starting QB, to win the job, but it was Gatewood who earned the best reviews in spring practice. Teammates rave about his intensity once the game goes live, and he just may be the answer to solve the Tigers’ offensive issues.
Gatewood Is an Elite Dual Threat
Gus Malzahn’s offense is only dangerous with a pure dual threat QB under center. Both Nix and Gatewood fit that bill, but Gatewood’s freakish size and athleticism make him a much better fit.
Auburn QB commit Joey Gatewood gives the Tigers a bright future under center pic.twitter.com/W2vTxHczje
— Bleacher Report CFB (@BR_CFB) September 1, 2017
At 6-foot-5, 233 pounds, he’s considerably bigger and faster than Nix, and is just as likely to beat you on the ground as he is through the air. He’s already been pegged as College Football’s breakout player of the year by ESPN’s Marcus Spears, and he’s drawing comparisons to former Auburn great Cam Newton.
Nix Is No Slouch
While Gatewood appears to have the inside track, it can’t be overstated how much the Tigers love Nix. He was the prized recruit of their 2019 class and the Alabama High School Player of the Year in 2018. He racked up over 12,000 career total yards at 161 touchdowns at Pinson Valley.
Even if Nix doesn’t start the season as the number one, he’ll still see his fair share of playing time. He’s currently on the list of preseason 2019 Heisman contenders, while Gatewood is not.
— Overtime (@overtime) June 27, 2018
One knock against Nix is that he’s a year behind Gatewood when it comes to experience. Auburn cannot afford a slow start this season if they have any hopes of competing for the 2020 National Championship, and Gatewood’s extra year on campus is just another reason to believe he’ll be the starter in Week 1.
Count on Gatewood to Start the Tigers Opener
Although Malzahn hasn’t tipped his hand just yet, most believe Gatewood gives Auburn its best change to overcome arguably the Nation’s toughest schedule. Malzahn wants his QB to be a running threat, and Gatewood can run not only past defenders but through them as well.
Kenny Dillingham called Joey Gatewood a “physically dominant creature.”
No one refutes this.
— Benjamin Wolk (@benjaminwolk) April 24, 2019
Right now folks in Auburn are looking at Gatewood like he’s the next Cam Netwon and they’re eager to see if he can turn them back into a college football power.
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