Auburn lands Michigan State starting QB Thorne


Former Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne is transferring to Auburn, he announced Friday.

Thorne is a redshirt senior who entered the transfer portal on April 30, the final day of the spring transfer window. He had started at Michigan State the past two seasons and now gives new Auburn coach Hugh Freeze more depth at the position.

Thorne was in a quarterback battle with backup Noah Kim this offseason at Michigan State, but one source around the program said it was a surprise that Thorne entered the transfer portal. He threw for 6,494 yards and 49 touchdowns in his time with the Spartans and was very much in the race to win the starting job for the 2023 season.

For Michigan State, Thorne’s departure leaves the staff with Kim and Katin Houser as options to start.

Freeze and Auburn have Robby Ashford at quarterback, who transferred in from Oregon prior to the 2022 season. He played in 12 games last season, throwing for 1,613 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Holden Geriner, a redshirt freshman, is also on the roster and was the No. 190 prospect overall in the 2022 class. Thorne adds more competition and experience to the quarterback room and gives Freeze another option at quarterback to choose from.

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