Gus Malzahn has never been through a more turbulent offseason at Auburn as the one he’s had entering this season.
He may have never faced a harder schedule as the one his Tigers are charging into, either.
And he’s certainly never gone into a season starting a freshman quarterback before.
Questions surround the Auburn football program going into 2019, now less than a month before the start of fall practice — but Malzahn and a few of his players hope to answer at least some of those questions this week at SEC Media Days in Hoover.
The four-day event starts Monday. Auburn’s representatives speak on the final day Thursday.
Malzahn will certainly be pummeled with plenty of those questions before his seventh season with the Tigers.
With him, Auburn will bring Derrick Brown, Marlon Davidson and Prince Tega Wanogho to represent their teammates.
Press conferences will be broadcast throughout the week by ESPN and SEC Network.
Along the way, several of those tough teams lining Auburn’s difficult schedule will be represented as well. Auburn will log four big SEC road trips this fall, at Texas A&M, at Arkansas, at Florida and at LSU — with contenders Georgia and Alabama looming at the end of the schedule as always.
Malzahn will be speaking to a large media presence for the first time since former school president Steven Leath left Auburn in late June. Leath spearheaded Auburn’s effort to re-sign Malzhan to a lucrative contract at the end of the 2017 season. At the end of the 2018 season, athletics director Allen Greene felt the need to pen an open letter to Auburn fans reaffirming his support for Malzahn amid grumbles.
Brown, Davidson and Wanogho are all seniors. Brown is the Tigers’ star defensive tackle, who turned down the NFL last winter to return to Auburn for a final season. Davidson, the defensive end, followed suit, and they’ll lead a fearsome front four for the Auburn defense this fall.
Wanogho is one of five senior starters back on the offensive line.
Nine of the 14 SEC teams are sending quarterbacks to represent their squads at the Media Days event, but Auburn is not one of them. True freshman Bo Nix and redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood are competing for playing time and competing to take the season’s first snap on Aug. 31 against Oregon in Dallas.