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Auburn names Frazier starting quarterback, star center suspended

Sophomore Kiehl Frazier was used almost exclusively as a wildcat quarterback last year at Auburn.

Sophomore Kiehl Frazier was used almost exclusively as a wildcat quarterback last year at Auburn.

AUBURN, Ala. — Sophomore Kiehl Frazier will start at quarterback in Auburn’s opener against Clemson, but he said that’s not the end goal.

“When you’re recruited to come to college, that’s what you work toward,” Frazier said. “It feels good, but it’s not a final goal — it’s a starting point. This is my job now, to prepare and lead this team. I have a lot to improve on.”

Tigers coach Gene Chizik made the announcement in a pre-practice statement late last week that Frazier had won the competition with Clint Moseley which started in the spring.

Frazier had seemed to be the frontrunner since last season, but Chizik didn’t pull the trigger on a decision until just days before the opener in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome.

“I think always the earlier the better, but we wanted to be very thorough in our assessment,” Chizik said, adding that the wait gave coaches a chance to evaluate several scrimmage performances. “This week was a very good work week. This week was planned out in advance to be a very heavy workload. And we felt we were going to put the quarterbacks in situations where it was easy to evaluate it.”

Frazier, one of Auburn’s top recruits last year, was used almost exclusively as a wildcat quarterback last season. He ran 76 times for 327 yards while attempting just 12 passes. He completed five for 34 yards and was intercepted twice.

“I feel blessed to get this opportunity,” Frazier said. “It’s good to know who’s going to be in there Saturday.”

Moseley started six games for the Tigers last season, including the Chick-fil-A Bowl. He was limited by a sore throwing shoulder through spring and preseason camp.

Moseley passed for five touchdowns and was intercepted three times last season, all returned for touchdowns. He left the bowl game with an ankle injury in the first quarter.

Chizik said it came down to which quarterback gave the Tigers the best chance to win.

“And we think Kiehl is that,” he said. “We’re excited about it. We have a lot of confidence in him. It’s the whole body of work, dating even back to last year getting some playing time.”

DISMUKES ARRESTED, SUSPENDED: Auburn has suspended center Reese Dismukes following the sophomore’s arrest on a public intoxication charge over the weekend.

Chizik said he is “very disappointed in Reese Dismukes for his irresponsible behavior.”

Chizik did not say how long Dismukes’ suspension would last.

Dismukes was one of the only certainties on Auburn’s offensive line, which has had competition at several positions. His backup is sophomore Tunde Fariyike.

Dismukes was one of two offensive players to start every game last season at the same position.