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WFE12

Who replaces KJ at wildcat

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Who replaces Kerryon Johnson as Auburn football’s wildcat QB in 2018?

 

SEC Country wants to tackle the best questions from Auburn football and basketball fans. Look for our Auburn Question of the Day most weekdays. Go here to see all of our previous answers. 

Who do you feel will be a better wildcat QB?

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn fans probably won’t get to see very much wildcat in the spring game on Saturday, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a couple of players ready to take over for Kerryon Johnson.

Offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey briefly answered a question about the wildcat at one point leading up to A-Day. This was his response:

“We don’t do much of that in the spring, maybe a little bit. We’ve played over the years here and other places I’ve been where we’ve sometimes used a running back and sometimes used a backup quarterback, it just kind of depends. Chandler Cox was our number 2 last year that kind of did a little bit of that. As we get into that stuff, we’ll be probably try to figure out who we want to give the reps there. It could be a quarterback or a running back.”

MORE: Do Auburn football center injuries mean an opportunity for newcomer Jalil Irvin?

Chances are Chandler Cox will line up at wildcat a couple of times during his senior season. He’s earned that right. Still, the “Coxcat,” as some call it, likely will pop up when Auburn is up big against lesser competition, but who will the Tigers turn to when it really counts?

As Lindsey said, there are a couple of good possibilities to step into this role, but there’s one that seems to be a clear leader.

Auburn sophomore quarterback Malik Willis demonstrated confidence and savvy during his freshman season. While Jarrett Stidham’s been recovering from shoulder surgery, Willis has been running the first-team offense — and from all indications doing a great job.

Coaches have said the Atlanta product is more comfortable and they have all the confidence in the world in Wilis. Perhaps even enough confidence to be Auburn football’s new Kerryon.

MORE: Can Auburn football finally find success away from Jordan-Hare Stadium? 

Willis’ spring experience will serve him well in the future when he likely takes over as Auburn’s starting quarterback, but in the meantime the Tigers would benefit from getting their backup QB some extra touches when possible. The athleticism Willis — remember, this is the kid being compared to Nick Marshall — has makes him a threat to opposing defenses. He may not have a ton of experience, but he’s someone Auburn’s opponents will have to pay attention to.

If Willis isn’t the one, who else could fill that void? Well, Lindsey could have hinted at the answer when briefing the media on Auburn’s younger running backs. If Malik Miller or Kam Martin start out as the Tigers’ go-to guy, they won’t be an option. If Willis doesn’t take it over, that leaves JaTarvious “Boobee” Whitlow and possibly newcomer Asa Martin, who’s expected to have a role on punt returns and kickoffs, too. Here’s what Lindsey had to say about those two:

“I think Boobee Whitlow is continuing to get better and better and better. He is a young guy that needs some reps. … Asa Martin has some natural instincts running between the tackles so I really like what he can do. I noticed today he got out and caught a couple of option routes so that was good.”

Kerryon Johnson is headed off to the NFL, and no one will run the wildcat exactly like the beloved Auburn rusher did. Still, there are some fantastic options coach Gus Malzahn and staff can turn to when they are seeking scores in the fall.

 

 

 

 

Edited by WFE12
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It should be Joey Gatewood . Scrap the wildcat . Tall guy , who can get short yardage when necessary and actually can throw.

Edited by DAG
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Gatewood or Willis IF you substitute. You need a regular player on the field most of the time like rb or wr. 

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how often is the wildcat successful? Every team we played knew what the play was going to be.

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8 minutes ago, TigerOne said:

how often is the wildcat successful? Every team we played knew what the play was going to be.

Alabama says otherwise :hellyeah:

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11 hours ago, DAG said:

It should be Joey Gatewood . Scrap the wildcat . Talk guy , who can get short yardage when necessary and actually can throw.

Worked well with Florida when they had Tebow when he first started seeing the field. I agree with this. 

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33 minutes ago, TigerOne said:

how often is the wildcat successful? Every team we played knew what the play was going to be.

Lol. It's been extremely successful the last two years. I'm sorry, but I can't imagine actually watching our games and not recognizing this. KJ was practically automatic inside the 5 yd line with it.

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Didn't Whitlow play some QB in high school? I like the Gatewood suggestion, too.

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I wish we would scrap the Wildcat and use a Two tight end Power I set. Nobody sees it or knows how to defend it anymore. Of course I also long for the Orange jerseys so I’m stuck in the 70s. 

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1 hour ago, TigerOne said:

how often is the wildcat successful? Every team we played knew what the play was going to be.

Most of the time....but I guess it depends on what you call success....first down or touchdown ?.......seems from what I saw the majority of calls got whatever was expected. Georgia ran the wildcat with either one of their RBs....and had pretty good success too.  It's more common in college football than lots of people think. 

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1 hour ago, McLoofus said:

Didn't Whitlow play some QB in high school? I like the Gatewood suggestion, too.

Threw for like 2,300 yards his senior year..

Edited by WFE12
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1 hour ago, WFE12 said:

Threw for like 2,300 yards his senior year..

If he is in the top 2 backs, this wildcat thing could be interesting. I worry we might expect too much from JW. But I’m very hopeful he is a playmaker 

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I agree with what was said above. Let him play the early Tebow role. It seems to me, along with his practice at WR, that the coaches see that he has too much talent to sit on the bench. While he may be raw, he is extremely talented. I think the Tebow style blueprint would be perfect for him, too.

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On 4/7/2018 at 11:45 AM, TigerOne said:

how often is the wildcat successful? Every team we played knew what the play was going to be.

 

On 4/7/2018 at 12:23 PM, McLoofus said:

Lol. It's been extremely successful the last two years. I'm sorry, but I can't imagine actually watching our games and not recognizing this. KJ was practically automatic inside the 5 yd line with it.

I owe you an apology. This was an unnecessarily sarcastic and rude response from me. 

What I should have said: I am of the opinion that the Wildcat has been very productive for us. I wouldn't be surprised if our TD percentage in the red zone was higher last season than at any point since 2013. It's not sexy and we haven't taken advantage of its versatility. And maybe it became a crutch for Gus. But we've scored buckets of touchdowns with it, and converted a lot of short yardage situations this past season, too. I don't think it's *that* much different from what Cam was doing in 2010 a lot of the time. I hope we can identify a guy that can run it as well as KJ did and also use it in more creative ways. 

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On 4/7/2018 at 12:47 AM, DAG said:

It should be Joey Gatewood . Scrap the wildcat . Tall guy , who can get short yardage when necessary and actually can throw.

I totally agree with scrap the wildcat part.

wde

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On 4/7/2018 at 10:45 AM, TigerOne said:

how often is the wildcat successful? Every team we played knew what the play was going to be.

Yet KJ scored with it frequently.

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On 4/7/2018 at 12:47 AM, DAG said:

It should be Joey Gatewood . Scrap the wildcat . Tall guy , who can get short yardage when necessary and actually can throw.

Interesting...

For all the freakish ability Cam had, one of his greatest attributes was that 3rd and less than 3 we're almost a given if he ran it.

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14 minutes ago, AUsince72 said:

Interesting...

For all the freakish ability Cam had, one of his greatest attributes was that 3rd and less than 3 we're almost a given if he ran it.

Exactly 

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I remember using D Craig for goal line situations back in the 90s  when Nix was a senior.  I’d like to see Willis personally run the wildcat.  With the exception of the jump pass the wildcat has had virtually zero passing threat with Gus.  Even though KJ was usually successful it could be so much better if the pass was actually an option.

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13 hours ago, WDE_OxPx_2010 said:

No more wildcat. Ever.

 

/Endthread

Wildcat is more than just sticking a non-QB in at the QB position.

It's an unbalanced line meant to overwhelm one side of the defense.  If your QB is a tough runner then you don't need to substitute.

I believe they ran "wildcat" in 2010 too...they just let Cam be the battering ram.  Not sure it was necessary in 2013 because of the style of run game they had that year.

Edited by AUsince72
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2 hours ago, Win4AU said:

I remember using D Craig for goal line situations back in the 90s  when Nix was a senior.  I’d like to see Willis personally run the wildcat.  With the exception of the jump pass the wildcat has had virtually zero passing threat with Gus.  Even though KJ was usually successful it could be so much better if the pass was actually an option.

Ah yes... the naked bootleg. Craig was a master of that play.

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1 hour ago, AUsince72 said:

Wildcat is more than just sticking a non-QB in at the QB position.

It's an unbalanced line meant to overwhelm one side of the defense.  If your QB is a tough runner then you don't need to substitute.

I believe they ran "wildcat" in 2010 too...they just let Cam be the battering ram.  Not sure it was necessary in 2013 because of the style of run game they had that year.

And doing other things out of the Wildcat once in a blue moon is mainly intended to keep defenses honest. 

Stidham basically stands on the sideline and hides when we run it, but a defender still has to stay out of the box to account for him. 

Newtons and Tebows are extremely rare. As in, those were pretty much the only two. Otherwise, the WC is a money play for moving the sticks or converting on the goal line *if* you have the right guys to run it. Intelligent, complete athletes at other skill positions tend to fit the bill. Trey Burton is a great example of that kind of guy who didn't specialize at QB or RB. 

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52 minutes ago, McLoofus said:

Newtons and Tebows are extremely rare.

I will say this, I won't compare Gatewood to Newton as a total QB, but as a short yardage specialist, he really could be the next Tebow or Netwon as a freshman. I would not be sad at all to see him have some red zone packages including some from the Wildcat formation. 

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