Gus Malzahn won't let Nick Marshall work with George Whitfield

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

Nick Marshall accounted for 3,079 yards and 26 TDs in 2013
Nick Marshall accounted for 3,079 yards and 26 TDs in 2013. (USATSI)

George Whitfield is seen as a sort of quarterback guru these days, and he has worked with plenty of the top college quarterbacks in the game in recent years. Heisman winners like Cam Newton, Robert Griffin and Johnny Manziel have all spent time with Whitfield, and Jameis Winston is expected to in the future.

But one quarterback who won't be working with Whitfield is Auburn's Nick Marshall. Not because Marshall doesn't want to, or because Whitfield doesn't want to. No, it's because Gus Malzahn doesn't want it.

“You want them thinking exactly like you want them to think,” Malzahn told AL.com. “When you get multiple people working, there's multiple thoughts, so we want them thinking one way.

“We've never had anyone work with our quarterbacks while they still had eligibility. We feel really good about how we go about it and the success we've had before. There won't be anyone working with our quarterbacks until their eligibility is exhausted.”

Whitfield had expressed interest in working with Marshall over the summer.

As for why Malzahn doesn't want it to happen, I completely understand how he feels. You don't want too many cooks in the kitchen, and it's hard to argue with how things worked out for both Marshall and Malzahn without Whitfield last season. There's room for Marshall to grow as a passer, but even if he wasn't perfect throwing the ball -- he completed less than 60% of his passes -- he didn't turn the ball over very often, and he's not asked to be a throwing quarterback in Auburn's offense.

Auburn reached the national title game because it ran the ball, and it ran it well. Malzahn would rather have Marshall worried about running that offense again in 2014 than his throwing mechanics.

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