Nick Marshall will be Auburn's starting quarterback in the opener against Washington State.

Tigers coach Gus Malzahn said Saturday in a statement that the junior college transfer emerged at the top of what began as a four-man race.

Malzahn says "we wanted to go with the guy that gives us the best opportunity to win football games and Nick is that guy." He said Marshall has learned the offense quickly and "is a playmaker with a big upside."Marshall was a 3,000-yard passer and 1,000-yard rusher last season at Garden City Community College in Kansas. He started his career as a Georgia defensive back.

Malzahn had narrowed it down to the two newcomers, Marshall and freshman Jeremy Johnson, early this week. Former starter Kiehl Frazier moved to safety.