Ex-JC star Nick Marshall tabbed QB

AUBURN, Ala. -- Gus Malzahn hinted after Saturday's practice that he'd name his starting quarterback sooner rather than later, and he came through on his promise. The Auburn coach will go with junior college star Nick Marshall to start the season.

"Nick Marshall has emerged and earned the right to be our starting quarterback," Malzahn said in a news release Saturday. "As I've said, we wanted to go with the guy that gives us the best opportunity to win football games and Nick is that guy.

"He has caught on quickly in the short period of time he has been with us. He is a playmaker with a big upside, and once he becomes more comfortable with the offense, he has the chance to improve each week."

Marshall beat out true freshman Jeremy Johnson and returning starter Jonathan Wallace for the job. Kiehl Frazier, who opened last season as the starter, took himself out of contention when he made the move to safety last week.

As a sophomore last season at Garden City (Kan.) Community College, Marshall threw for 3,142 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,095 yards and 19 touchdowns. He originally signed with Georgia, where he played cornerback his freshman year. He and two other freshmen were dismissed from the team in February 2012 for undisclosed violations.

Auburn will open the season at home against Washington State on Aug. 31.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.