SEC title winners in 2013, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn and QB Nick Marshall were a great best coaching-QB combos.
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn has stated that he feels former Auburn QB Nick Marshall could be a legitimate NFL QB even though Marshall is training as a defender.
In an interview with NFL Network, Malzahn stated that Marshall – who played two seasons for the Tigers as the starting QB and led them to an SEC title in 2013 – has the skills to play QB in the NFL. Marshall is currently training as a DB – a position he played for one season at the University of Georgia before being dismissed for violating team rules.
“I know he can be a quarterback at the next level,” Malzahn said.
“It needs to be in the right system. You’re talking about a guy that’s probably one of the best zone-read quarterbacks in the history of college football. He’s got a unique skill set. He broke the school record against the most talented defense we faced last year (passing for 456 yards against Alabama). So he’s got the ability, he’s got the knack to win games, when the game’s on the line, that very few quarterbacks have. So I believe he can play quarterback in the right system.”
Marshall’s effectiveness at Auburn was more-so as a runner than as a passer. In 2013, Marshall ran the ball 172 times for 1,068 yards and 12 TDs – as a passer he threw just 14 TDs and completed less than 60% of his passes. His numbers only barely improved in 2014 but the team struggled and fell to 8-5 after appearing in the National Championship the year before.
“He’s a great athlete. He can play defensive back, he can play receiver, he’s got a great attitude, he’s a team player, and he just wants to help someone win,” Malzahn said.