Auburn hopes it's found its spread quarterback

January, 29, 2009
1/29/09
12:01
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

There was no bigger priority for Auburn during this recruiting period than finding a quarterback that was a fit for Gus Malzahn's spread offense.

That's why you heard the collective cheer coming from the Plains earlier this week when Tyrik Rollison of Sulphur Springs, Texas, said he planned to sign with the Tigers.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Rollison was made for the spread offense. He passed for a school-record 4,728 yards last season and 53 touchdowns and also rushed for 1,094 yards. The best thing he does is buy time to find open receivers and he has excellent feet. He's one of those quarterbacks in high school who specialized in making things happen even when there wasn't much there.

Now comes the hard part: Taking it to the college game against SEC defenses.

Rollison, who was also recruited by Arizona, Florida State and Nebraska, will be able to work with Malzahn from the outset when he arrives on campus, meaning he won't have to make the adjustment from other systems Auburn has run in the past two years.

Kodi Burns, who will be a junior next season, has already had to learn two different offenses under two different offensive coordinators. Malzahn will be his third offensive coordinator. And in reality, it was like the Tigers ran two different offenses last season -- one with Tony Franklin and another one after Franklin was fired.

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