Even though it feels like last football season just ended, college football fans suffering from withdrawal will be able to get their spring football fix this April as Auburn University announced that they will continue the annual tradition known as A-Day: Auburn football’s annual exhibition game, which was canceled last year due to the pandemic.
The players will have the opportunity to scrimmage one another and fans will have the chance to see how the players are developing.
One key position that will be important to watch as the Bryan Harsin era begins on the Plains is the quarterback.
The Tigers lose only Cord Sandberg from last season’s quarterback room. Sandberg threw seven passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns over his three seasons at Auburn as he served in a primarily reserve role.
Replacing him on the depth chart will be incoming freshman Dematrius Davis. Davis hails from North Shore High in Houston, Texas, where he led his team to an 11-0 record in 2020. Davis is rated as the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback in the country and a the No. 219 player overall in the class of 2021, according to the 24/7 Sports Composite rankings.
Returning to Auburn are walk-on quarterbacks Sawyer Pate and Trey Lindsey. Pate was a three-star recruit who came to the Tigers as a preferred walk-on. While Pate hasn’t seen any on-field action so far, he was a successful quarterback at Thompson High School, where he threw for 3,100 yards and 41 touchdowns as a senior.
Lindsey, likewise, hasn’t seen any collegiate action, but in his senior year he threw for 2,253 yards and 24 TDs. Both players have remained committed to Auburn and will be hoping for the opportunity to make an impact in 2021.
Also returning to the Plains is Chayil Garnett, a scholarship quarterback who did not see action last season as he played a reserve role. At Lakeland High in Florida, Garnett passed for over 2,000 yards and 18 touchdowns while being ranked as a top-15 quarterback in the nation.
Serving as backup to Bo Nix along with Cord Sandberg last season was graduate transfer Grant Loy, who chose to return for one final season with the Tigers. Loy transferred to Auburn from Bowling Green, where he started in 2019 and passed for over 1,000 yards. Loy saw limited action for the Tigers, primarily in special teams situations, with two pass attempts last season. With Sandberg out, Loy is the most experienced returner behind Nix.
Last but certainly not least is Nix, who returns with the starting job his to lose after being the captain of the ship for the past two seasons. Nix has passed for roughly 2,500 yards in each of the past two seasons with 16 touchdowns his first season and 12 in 2020. He also threw six interceptions in 2019 compared to seven last season.
A solid quarterback who is often pegged as being great at home and inconsistent on the road, Nix will be looking to take a new step forward under a new head coach in a new offense. Time will tell how well Nix and Bryan Harsin will be able to work together and A-Day will be a great chance to see how Nix is settling into the new offense.