Hugh Freeze Tells Players Who Can’t Handle Reality Of Transfer Portal Competition To ‘Grow Up’ And Embrace Hardship

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Auburn football has a quarterback battle on its hands and Hugh Freeze is not concerned with feelings, in a good way. He must do what it takes to win, even if it ruffles some feathers along the way.

Who is going to start at quarterback for Auburn? (Photos by Michael Chang/Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Freeze, who took over the Tigers program at the end of November, inherited a confusing quarterback room. Former four-star Oregon transfer Robby Ashford was the incumbent starter, T.J. Finley saw action in each of the last two years after transferring-in from LSU, and four-star freshman Holden Geriner was waiting in the wings.

None of the three were impressive during spring ball. Finley bounced not long after the spring game.

Ashford and Geriner remained as Freeze’s only two options— until last Friday, when former Michigan State starter Payton Thorne announced that will exhaust his final two years of eligibility on The Plains. Gerniner is still in the mix to some extent as the quarterback competition continues into fall camp, but it is Ashford and Thorne who are expected to really fight for the starting nod.

But how did Ashford feel about the addition of Thorne? It sounds like he understood.

Hugh Freeze wants his players to embrace reality.

Auburn’s 53-year-old head coach was asked about the quarterback entire situation, how it all went down, and how Thorne’s arrival was received. In response, Freeze gave a very candid response about the difficulties of life, hardship, and growing up.

He spoke to how Auburn is going to keep four quarterbacks on its roster, period. Each year, like in life, it will be a competition. If his players can’t handle that reality, then they need to “grow up.”

Freeze was not speaking toward/about Ashford, who he said handled it “well.” It was more of a blanket conversation, but a profound one at that.

Freeze comes with his baggage. He, like anyone in such a prominent role, has plenty of haters.

Putting all of that aside, Freeze deserves credit for consistently being direct with his players and his internal messaging. There are certain realities that simply will not change, and embracing those realities sooner than later will go a long way in the long run!

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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