AUBURN, ALA. (AP) - It finally hit Clint Moseley three games into last season: He had to stop moping and get it together.
The former Alabama Mr. Football remained buried on Auburn’s depth chart at quarterback. Then, he heard syndicated radio host Rick Burgess’ speech to the team the night before the Clemson game and had an attitude adjustment.
“I was like, ‘Man. It’s time to grow up if I’m ever going to play here,’” Moseley said.
With Cam Newton skipping his senior season and Neil Caudle having graduated, he has his shot now. The third-year sophomore is battling with Newton backup Barrett Trotter for the starting job during spring practice.
They’re the only two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster until August, when signee Kiehl Frazier joins the mix. While the more experienced Trotter would appear to be the front-runner, Moseley’s in a far better spot than he had been.
“He’s matured greatly the last two years,” Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said. “Mentally, he wasn’t ready to play the first year or even last year. But you can see the urgency. He’s competing for the starting job here at Auburn, so I’ve really seen a difference. He’s competing hard and he wants to win the job.”
Moseley, who led Leroy High School to three consecutive Class 2A state titles, said he never considered transferring to another school. But he wasn’t happy, and he wasn’t exactly progressing up the depth chart. His only action came against Louisiana-Monroe last season, and he didn’t attempt a pass.
“I just wasn’t where I needed to be, as a person, player, anything,” Moseley said. “Off the field, I had a lot of pity parties. I felt sorry for myself. I stuck with it. I’ve never been a quitter. I had a lot of great people talking to me and I really started listening to them last year and my attitude changed little by little.
“It just hit me one time how pitiful I was acting. I felt sorry for myself, thinking I was right when I was obviously wrong. I had a huge attitude adjustment.”
The first job was learning Malzahn’s offense, which he said he now knows well enough to tutor walk-on newcomer Logan Paul. The second job was to regain the confidence that helped him win those state titles and lead Leroy to a 15-0 record as a senior in the state’s second-smallest public school classification.
He’s even enjoying practice these days.
“It’s not like the feeling I’ve had here before,” Moseley said. “I’m feeling that feeling that got me here, that confidence and leadership that got me here. It feels great. I actually love practice now.”
Moseley makes it clear he’s not another Newton, a quarterback who’s as dangerous running as passing. He said he’s mobile but no runner.
“I think I can manage the offense,” Moseley said. “Cam was such a different quarterback, literally like no one we’ve ever seen before. I think I bring a more conventional (style), like what Gus has always had. Just somebody who knows the offense as well as he does. That’s what I’m trying to do right now. I’m getting close.”
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