I believe Tyrik Rollison, should he qualify or re-commit after a year at prep school, will be an excellent quarterback prospect for Auburn. I believe his skill set will prove to be an excellent fit for an offense coordinated by Gus Malzahn. I'll go so far as to say I believe that, should he arrive on campus this fall, that he will be the single most important recruit of Auburn's class of 2009.
However: I do not believe Tyrik Rollison will save Auburn in 2009. Or 2010. I do not believe Auburn needs a new quarterback to save them. When I read this description of Rollison by ESPN's Chris Low--
There was no bigger priority for Auburn during this recruiting period than finding a quarterback that was a fit for Gus Malzahn's spread offense.--I believe the quarterback Auburn fans should be salivating over isn't Rollison at all. It's Kodi Burns.
That's why you heard the collective cheer coming from the Plains earlier this week when Tyrik Rollison of Sulphur Springs, Texas, said he planned to sign with the Tigers.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Rollison was made for the spread offense. He passed for a school-record 4,728 yards last season and 53 touchdowns and also rushed for 1,094 yards. The best thing he does is buy time to find open receivers and he has excellent feet. He's one of those quarterbacks in high school who specialized in making things happen even when there wasn't much there.
Because Burns is also built for the spread. Burns is also capable of doing tremendous things with his feet. Burns also threw for a ton of yards in high school and did it with accuracy. Burns also arrived at Auburn with four stars and a ton of guru approval. Everything Rollison is, Burns is also, but with two years' worth of college experience already.
The sad thing is that Burns's experience is being held against him by many Auburn fans, who either wonder if--or expect that--Barrett Trotter will challenge him for his job, despite the fact that Trotter has neither Burns's arm nor legs nor experience. Yes, Burns's experience to date has not always been encouraging. But this experience has also come without the benefit of a redshirt year. It has come trying to learn three different offensive systems in two seasons, the first of which and the third of which did not play to his strengths and the second of which played to the strengths of no quarterback on earth. His experience has come with three different quarterbacks coaches, the first of which treated him as a kind of running back with extra features, the second of which hand-picked Chris Todd to replace him, and third of which was Steve Freaking Ensminger. This is experience that will benefit Burns because playing in the SEC is better than standing on the sidelines in the SEC, but it is not experience we can judge him by.
So I welcome Rollison with open arms (or at least, I will, if he makes his test score or whatever). But I don't believe we need a new quarterback who will perfectly fit the Malzahn spread. I believe that quarterback is already on Auburn's campus.