Auburn's Football Roster Is Changing, According To One Current Tiger

There are fewer headaches on the 2024 roster as opposed to 2023
Dec 30, 2023; Nashville, TN, USA;  Auburn Tigers quarterback Payton Thorne (1) throws a pass against
Dec 30, 2023; Nashville, TN, USA; Auburn Tigers quarterback Payton Thorne (1) throws a pass against / Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn continues its culture change and a certain player is not afraid to discuss it.

That young man would be starting quarterback Payton Thorne. Here's what he said in today's media session about the majority of attitudes for current Tigers as compared to some of those that moved on from the 2023 roster:

"I was thinking about this yesterday or the day before," Thorne began. "All the guys, like, that you get frustrated with...Why are you like...Why don't you want to be here? You know, why don't you want to workout? And stuff like that.

"Most of those guys are gone. And so, that has been really refreshing. And I feel like most of the guys, almost all the guys that are here now, want to be here, and want to workout, and want to play well on the field. The energy has been off the charts at practice so far (this spring)."

Whenever a new coaching staff takes over a struggling program, there's a chance for situations like the one Thorne is discussing to eventually come to light. Make of it what one will, but also consider the following two points.

First, it's going to take time, as in years, to truly get the Auburn football roster where Hugh Freeze and his coaching staff want it to be. It's only the beginning of Year 2 for the Freeze era and there's still a long way to go. As Thorne denotes, the attitude and energy is much better this spring so that's good news.

Second, recruits are going to notice the high energy and positivity around the program that Thorne is speaking about. That's going to pay dividends down the road. Auburn is no place near where it wants to be just yet, but Thorne's honest answer is a great sign of things to come for the Tigers.

Brian Smith


Fan Nation High school football recruiting analyst covering the state of Florida, as well as across the Southeastern United States and the state of Texas.