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Malzahn names freshman Bo Nix Auburn's starting quarterback

(AP Photo/Butch Dill)

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) Freshman Bo Nix will make his Auburn debut as the starting quarterback on a big stage.

Nix was proclaimed the 16th-ranked Tigers' starter on Tuesday, ending a battle with redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood. Nix will take the field in Auburn's opener against No. 11 Oregon on Aug. 31 in Arlington, Texas.

"I think he had a very good fall camp," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said Tuesday evening. "I think there's a lot of intangibles that go with that. But at the end of the day it's just the consistency, and giving us the best chance of being successful."

Nix was a five-star prospect, rated the nation's top dual-threat quarterback in the 247Sports composite rankings. Nix's father, Patrick, played quarterback for the Tigers from 1992-95 and was his high school coach.

"Obviously, it's a dream come true," Bo Nix said. "I've always wanted to play quarterback at Auburn. It's a goal of mine that I've had for a long, long time, as far as I can remember. All the way back to throwing the football in the backyard with my dad, I wanted to play quarterback at Auburn. So it was just an awesome moment. You honestly couldn't write it any better."

The 6-foot-2, 207-pound Nix enrolled in January after leading his father's Pinson Valley High School team to consecutive Class 6A state titles. He set Alabama state career records with 12,000-plus yards of total offense and 161 touchdowns accounted for, including 127 passing and 34 rushing.

"He's not your normal freshman," Malzahn said.

Nix and Gatewood emerged from a four-player competition in the spring, prompting former backup Malik Willis to transfer to Liberty.

Malzahn didn't rule out playing Gatewood in the first game.

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Updated August 20, 2019

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