Deandre Ayton

Chris Low, ESPN Senior WriterAug 17, 2023, 02:09 PM ET


College football reporter
Joined in 2007
Graduate of the University of Tennessee

Payton Thorne has won the Auburn starting quarterback job, coach Hugh Freeze announced on Thursday.

Thorne, a transfer from Michigan State, beat out Robby Ashford and will start for the Tigers in their Sept. 2 opener against UMass.

Thorne was a two-year starter for the Spartans, and Freeze said that his leadership and efficiency throwing the ball were big factors in his winning the job at Auburn after arriving on campus in June.

“The reason Payton is getting the nod is the leadership ability and understanding of the offense, and he’s been in some really good battles and just seems like he was more efficient in decision-making to this point, not th
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