Auburn is satisfied with its depth and competition at Quarterback heading into the fall, but concerns remain about future depth at the position for the Tigers.
Following the transfers of Woody Barrett and Tyler Queen, as well as the position change of John Franklin III to wide receiver, Auburn has three scholarship quarterbacks for 2017 in Jarrett Stidham, Sean White and true freshman Malik Willis. With Jarrett eligible for the NFL Draft after this season and White finishing his fourth year on the Plains, there's a scenario where Auburn can enter 2018 with just one of its current scholarship quarterbacks still on the roster.
While the 2018 Recruiting Class will help bolster depth at that position, the big question is how Auburn plans to approach this recruiting cycle. Auburn likes to take at least one quarterback in each class, and that will remain the plan under new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey.
"Right now, we have one committed, so we feel good about him, and we're just probably going to see how things go," Lindsey said in LaGrange, Ga., last month. "We've got some flexibility in there."
Gatewood invited to Elite 11 finals
Auburn holds a commitment from four-star quarterback Joey Gatewood out of Bartram Trail High in Jacksonville, Fla. Gatewood has been committed to Auburn since Dec. 5, 2015, and the 6-foot-4, 232-pound dual-threat quarterback reaffirmed his pledge to the Tigers this spring.
Following the transfers of Queen, who left the program after spring break, and Barrett, who transferred to Copiah-Lincoln Community College last month, Auburn's depth at the position has thinned out. While Lindsey told AL.com last month in Johns Creek, Ga., that "not much" will change from the recruiting standpoint following the departures of those two, he left open the possibility of Auburn taking a second quarterback for the 2018 class.
"We feel good where we're at," Lindsey said. "Obviously, you're always looking for good players and our recruiting class is still kind of taking, I guess taking shape, so to speak. We'll continue to evaluate it and make the best decision, we think, for our team."
Auburn QB target decommits from Penn State
One possibility high on Auburn's radar if the Tigers do try to add a second quarterback this cycle is former Penn State commit Justin Fields. The five-star quarterback out of Kennesaw, Ga., is the nation's top-rated dual-threat quarterback and the No. 3 overall prospect according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He decommitted from Penn State last week, and while Florida appears to be the favorite for his services now, Auburn, Georgia and Florida State are also in the mix.
If Auburn misses out on Fields and signs just one quarterback to the 2018 class, the team will be best suited if Stidham remains on campus for another season -- there is early buzz that a breakthrough season in 2017 could make him a coveted NFL Draft prospect -- and the Tigers continue to bring along Willis, who was the team's surprise of spring practices, for depth purposes. White will still have a year of eligibility remaining in 2018, but with his graduation set for either December or next May, there's a possibility that he could seek an opportunity as a grad transfer after this season should he lose out on the starting job this fall.
"We're also still excited about the three guys we still have," Lindsey said. "We also have John Franklin, he's capable of obviously playing quarterback for us, so we feel very good with where we're at."