AUBURN, Alabama–It’s doubtful that there has been a college football season when having depth at quarterback has been more important than 2020. A newcomer to the Auburn roster, Grant Loy, looks to be helping the Tigers with that situation.
When Auburn opens the season next Saturday with a home game vs. the Kentucky Wildcats, Loy is expected to be the top backup for returning starter Bo Nix. With Loy on board the Tigers now have two quarterbacks on the roster who have started at the college level and a third QB, sophomore Cord Sandberg, who has taken snaps in a college game. With the possibility of losing players for one or two games due to covid-19 protocols, having multiple players ready at each position is a big deal.
Auburn’s leading receiver last season, Seth Williams, noted that he likes what he has seen from the 6-5, 230 graduate transfer from Bowling Green.
“Grant, he has an arm on him,” Williams said. He’s got a cannon. He likes to throw it. He’s got a lot of velocity on his ball. I feel like he’s a good quarterback, too.”
Loy was a three-sport standout at Buckeye Central High in New Washington, Ohio. He was the two-time team MVP in football. He set a school record for stolen bases in baseball with 80 while winning District Player of the Year honors. He also had the opportunity to play Division II college basketball after competing on the Buckeye Central hoops team coached by his father.
“He is an amazing athlete,” tight end John Samuel Shenker said of Loy. “He has obviously had experience at Bowling Green. He played there for a while so coming here I didn’t really hear about him until he got here, but he has been an excellent, excellent athlete.”
In 2019 starting seven games and playing in five others at Bowling Green, the quarterback threw for 1,137 yards as he completed 115-204 passes with six touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He ran the ball 100 times for 427 yards and four touchdowns.
“He has got a great arm,” Shenker said. “He has also wowed a few times with his legs and what-not. He is going to be a fun one to watch this fall as well.”
Coach Gus Malzahn said that Loy’s experience at the college level is showing. “He is getting used to Coach (Chad) Morris’ offense and the expectations, but he has worked really hard. I think his teammates really like him and they respect him.
“He’s a hard worker and he is a good athlete, too,” Malzahn said. “He has got a real live arm. He is just in the process of learning the offense. He has got a lot of scrimmage reps. Three weeks in a row we let all of our quarterbacks go live other than Bo Nix. We got a chance to learn a lot about all of those other guys and he is one of them. I will tell you this, we are glad he is here with us.”
Loy noted that he is glad to be at Auburn. “After being here for about two months and being around the coaches and the guys, I definitely made the right decision,” he said. “Regardless of whatever happens, I am happy to be here.”
The quarterback said he appreciates the opportunity. “I am just incredibly grateful to be a part of Auburn football,” he said. “The moment I stepped on campus, I knew it was a special place. I know the tradition here is amazing and the support we have as a program is endless. The first game can’t get here fast enough.”
That first game is at Jordan-Hare Stadium with the Tigers beginning their 10-game, SEC games only regular season schedule with an 11 a.m. CDT start vs. a Kentucky team that will bring a veteran defensive unit into the contest.
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