By Zac Ellis
After Auburn's quarterback competition narrowed to two this week, former starting passer Kiehl Frazier requested a permanent move to safety, Tigers coach Gus Malzahn told reporters on Monday.
Frazier, who began the 2012 season as the team's starter and held that role through the first five games, offered to move into the defensive backfield after a meeting with Malzahn and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee. Both coaches sat down with Auburn's quarterbacks over the weekend and confirmed that the race had narrowed to JUCO transfer Nick Marshall and freshman Jeremy Johnson, moving away from returnees Jonathan Wallace and Frazier.
"As we were talking to Kiehl Frazier and told him the plan, he brought up the idea that, 'Coach, I want to help the team any way I can,'" Malzahn said. "We talked earlier that day and came back the next day and Kiehl moved to safety today."
Frazier struggled as a starter last season, throwing for 753 yards with eight interceptions and only two touchdowns. He spent time at safety as a prep standout as Shiloh (Ark.) Christian, and he practiced for the first time at the position with Auburn on Monday, expressing his excitement after practice.
"I'll be able to help the team at safety -- that will be my focus 100 percent," Frazier said. "Something I'm fully going to embrace."The focus will now be on Marshall and Johnson as fall camp continues. A cornerback at Georgia in 2011, Marshall moved on to play quarterback at Garden City Community College, where he passed for 3,142 yards and 18 touchdowns while rushing for 1,095 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2012. Johnson, a freshman out of Carver High in Montgomery, Ala., was named Alabama's Mr. Football in 2012 after throwing for 3,193 yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior; he also rushed for 705 yards and seven scores.