Over the years, more and more of the top quarterbacks in the country at nearly every have been flocking to George Whitfield. The guru du jour at the most important position on a football field has worked with the likes of the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Heisman winners, Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III and Johnny Manziel, and is expected to bring the reigning Heisman winner, Jameis Winston, under his growing coaching umbrella as well.
If it’s up to Gus Malzahn, however, a player who could be in play for the 2014 stiff-armed trophy won’t follow suit.
Speaking to Brandon Marcello of al.com, the Auburn head coach was very succinct when it comes to reports that his quarterback, Nick Marshall, will work with Whitfield this offseason — he’s decidedly against it. In fact, Malzahn sounds very much like he’s outright forbidding it.
“You want them thinking exactly like you want them to think,” Malzahn said. “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.”
So that’s that, apparently.
Marshall, who in his first season as a starter helped lead the Tigers to the BCS title game against Florida State, was reportedly headed to California, along with Winston, to work with Whitfield this summer. Barring an unexpected development, Winston will still make the pilgrimage.
More times than not, coaches don’t have an issue with their players seeking out Whitfield’s counsel. Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, for example, had no issues with their quarterbacks, Braxton Miller and Tajh Boyd, respectively, working with Whitfield while they were still in college.
With the blessing of Kevin Sumlin, Manziel began working with Whitfield in the summer of 2013. Manziel is also working with Whitfield as he prepares for the 2014 NFL draft.