Barrett Trotter not returning in 2012

Auburn's quarterback race for 2012 lost a member when junior Barrett Trotter announced Monday that he wouldn't return for his senior season.

Trotter, who started seven games in 2011, announced that he wasn't intending to transfer, but wouldn't be back with Auburn's football team. He graduated in August with a degree in communications and is enrolled in graduate school at Auburn.

“My four years at Auburn has been a great experience and I’m thankful for the opportunities that I’ve had, however, I have decided to forgo my senior season,” Trotter said. “I’m truly blessed to have been a part of winning seasons and championships during my time at Auburn. I’m also very appreciative of coach (Gene) Chizik and the coaching staff, as well as my teammates and the entire Auburn family.”

Trotter began the season as Auburn's starter, beating out sophomore Clint Moseley and freshman Kiehl Frazier during training camp. Trotter led the Tigers to a 4-2 record in 2011 before losing his starting job to Moseley during Auburn's 17-6 win against Florida.

Trotter didn't record anymore stats until Auburn's blowout win against Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. He replaced Moseley early in the bowl game and had arguably his best performance of the season, passing for 175 yards, a touchdown, and rushing for 32 yards in the 43-24 win.

“Barrett is a great young man who ended his career in a fitting way by helping lead our team to victory in the Chick-fil-A Bowl,” Chizik said. “We are very appreciative to Barrett for his contributions to Auburn both on and off the field, and wish him nothing but the best as he takes the next step in his life.”

With Moseley and Frazier coming back, it looked as if Trotter would be in the same situation he was in this past season. Auburn's offense struggled against better defenses with Moseley as the starter and Frazier coming in for mostly running plays, but Auburn's coaching staff didn't turn to Trotter again until Moseley suffered a injury in the bowl game.

The staff held Frazier back with his passing last season, but he saw his snaps in the running game increase throughout the season. Fraizer, who was a top quarterback recruit coming out of high school in 2011, should see his role as a passer increase, and he still is considered Auburn's quarterback of the future.

Now, the focus of the quarterback position shifts to Moseley and Frazier. Moseley has the better passing skill set, but Frazier is the better runner, and his passing should be a point of emphasis in the offseason. This should be one of the more exciting position battles to keep an eye on in the SEC this spring, and it should spill over into fall training camp.