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August 2, 2012

Frazier still evolving as camp begins

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AUBURN -- Kiehl Frazier's job last season was far from complex.

Former offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn viewed the highly touted freshman as a means to and end with his running ability and deployed him exclusively as a Wildcat quarterback. Frazier was a change-of-pace guy, the football version of a pinch hitter, and grasping the Tigers' full offensive system was a secondary concern.

He was a runner. That was his job.

Things have changed in 2012. The team's new offensive coordinator, Scot Loeffler, is expecting Frazier to execute the entirety of Auburn's new system and at the same time adhere to a tougher standard when it comes to exhibiting smooth mechanics.

The quarterback, now entering his sophomore season, is taking all the changes in stride.

"I don't think (Loeffler's) expectations are higher. Everybody wants the same things -- just to win games," Frazier said. "I think from a technical standpoint he expects more. He expects you to play more NFL-like than Coach Malzahn did."

Necessary adjustments extend well beyond the playbook. Frazier knows that earning the respect of teammates and gaining the ability to command a huddle is a prerequisite to winning the starting job. Gone is the general timidity he showed last season - he was a first-year player, after all - and in its place is a level of assertiveness that simply didn't exist last fall.

He's just careful to pick his spots.

Seniors Emory Blake and Philip Lutzenkirchen have emerged as authority figures, but Frazier said he's learning to collaborate with them in his own way.

"It's totally different just having to speak up. I haven't really been a vocal guy," Frazier said. "I have just been trying to do my job. The seniors like Lutz and E.B. are really the leaders of the offense. I'm just trying to get more vocal and getting to where I need to be."



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