Malzahn names freshman Bo Nix Auburn’s starting quarterback

National Sports

FILE – In this Friday, Aug. 2, 2019 file photo, Auburn quarterback Bo Nix throws a pass during Auburn’s first practice in Auburn, Ala. Freshman Bo Nix will be Auburn’s starting quarterback in the season opener against Oregon. Auburn announced coach Gus Malzahn’s decision on Twitter, officially ending a battle with redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Freshman Bo Nix will make his Auburn debut as the starting quarterback on a big stage.

Nix was proclaimed the 16th-ranked Tigers’ starter on Tuesday, ending a battle with redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood. Nix will take the field in Auburn’s opener against No. 11 Oregon on Aug. 31 in Arlington, Texas.

“I think he had a very good fall camp,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said Tuesday evening. “I think there’s a lot of intangibles that go with that. But at the end of the day it’s just the consistency, and giving us the best chance of being successful.”

Nix was a five-star prospect, rated the nation’s top dual-threat quarterback in the 247Sports composite rankings. Nix’s father, Patrick, played quarterback for the Tigers from 1992-95 and was his high school coach.

“Obviously, it’s a dream come true,” Bo Nix said. “I’ve always wanted to play quarterback at Auburn. It’s a goal of mine that I’ve had for a long, long time, as far as I can remember. All the way back to throwing the football in the backyard with my dad, I wanted to play quarterback at Auburn. So it was just an awesome moment. You honestly couldn’t write it any better.”

The 6-foot-2, 207-pound Nix enrolled in January after leading his father’s Pinson Valley High School team to consecutive Class 6A state titles. He set Alabama state career records with 12,000-plus yards of total offense and 161 touchdowns accounted for, including 127 passing and 34 rushing.

“He’s not your normal freshman,” Malzahn said.

Nix and Gatewood emerged from a four-player competition in the spring, prompting former backup Malik Willis to transfer to Liberty.

Malzahn didn’t rule out playing Gatewood in the first game.

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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