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  Bryan Harsin has been pleased with Robby Ashford's progress since the spring, when he took home offensive MVP honors on A-Day, and it has the redshirt freshman in the thick of Auburn's quarterback competition early in fall camp. Ashford is one of four candidates for the starting job at this point of the preseason, along with junior T.J. Finley, Texas A&M transfer Zach Calzada and true freshman Holden Geriner. Ashford still has work to do to make his case for the starting role, but despite not having any in-game experience from his time at Oregon, he has impressed with how far he has come since arriving on campus in January - especially when it comes to his decision making with the ball in his hands, which Harsin noted has really stood out since the spring.

"(He's) definitely more assertive," tight end Luke Deal said. "I can tell that he's taken a lot of the load on his shoulders, whether it's good or bad, you can see that he's taking a lot of ownership, which is something you like to see, especially as offensive linemen or tight end. Usually, you kind of get used to just taking the blame because we don't mind. Nobody's looking at us as much as they're looking at QB, so that's pretty cool to see him just kind of taking a lead, taking that ownership and assertiveness." Ashford also possesses a trait that makes him stand out compared to the other contenders in the quarterback room: He's a more mobile threat behind center, and he can really make defenses pay if he can get loose. As Deal put it Tuesday, Ashford has speed to spare - "He could afford to give me some if he wanted to" - and it's impossible to ignore on the field. "He's a force when he does it, so just decision making, right? If everybody's covered, he's going to have a chance to go out there and make a play with his feet," Harsin said. "But I also think he's throwing the ball better, his decision making in the pass game." - Birmingham News

rSo/2026 QB Robby AshfordSouth Carolina
News Source: Birmingham News

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