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Auburn's John Franklin III switching to WR, but still in QB mix

AUBURN, Ala. -- It appears the quarterback competition at Auburn will no longer include former junior-college transfer John Franklin III this spring, though the coaching staff has yet to make any final decisions on his future position.

Franklin, who began the spring at quarterback, traded his orange no-contact jersey in for a regular blue jersey at Tuesday's practice and was seen working with the wide receivers and special teams unit. It's a move that has been in the works since Saturday when Auburn coach Gus Malzahn hinted that Franklin would get an opportunity at wide receiver.

Nothing has been confirmed, though.

"If John doesn't win the starting job then he's going to go play another position," first-year offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey said after Tuesday's practice. "But as of right now he's definitely still in the mix."

Franklin arrived at Auburn prior to last spring. He appeared in all 13 games for the Tigers last season and made one start against Vanderbilt. He finished with 430 yards rushing, 204 yards passing and three total touchdowns, but with the arrival of former Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham and the return of Sean White, Franklin's chances to win the job are slim.

Franklin also grew in fame as one of the central figures of the Netflix series "Last Chance U," a documentary that followed East Mississippi Community College through the 2015 season.

The position switch wasn't the only news regarding Auburn's quarterback race Tuesday. White, who had previously been limited while recovering from a broken arm he suffered in the team's loss to Oklahoma in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, was seen throwing with the other quarterbacks during the open period of practice.

The competition this spring includes White, Stidham, Woody Barrett, Tyler Queen and Malik Willis, a true freshman who enrolled in January.

"We are still kind of evaluating all of them, to be honest with you," Lindsey said. "I think Jarrett, Woody and Malik have started getting the bulk of a lot of our reps, but at the same time we're not anywhere to say we are going with these guys or whatever."