AUBURN, Ala. (WHNT) – After a tight competition through fall camp, Hugh Freeze has named a starting quarterback. 

Freeze confirmed Thursday that Michigan State quarterback transfer Payton Thorne will be the starting quarterback for the Tigers’ season opener against UMASS, but wouldn’t commit to the idea of Thorne starting all 12 games for Auburn.

Thorne, who transferred to Auburn in May, beat out last year’s starting quarterback Robby Ashford and redshirt freshman Holden Geriner for the job. 

“I totally believe that Robby and Holden – that we can win games with any of the three,” Freeze said in a press conference on Thursday. “I believe in all three of those guys.”

A former captain at Michigan State, Thorne committed to the Tigers in the second transfer portal window after spring practices had ended. 

“My gut is usually right… and I’m not saying my gut is right that Payton is the guy for all 12 games, but my gut is saying it’s time to do this,” Freeze added.

Thorne spent three seasons with the Spartans appearing in 29 games. He has thrown for 6,493 yards, 49 touchdowns and 24 interceptions during his career. Thorne has also rushed for six touchdowns in his career.

Thorne was one of over 20 players that transferred to Auburn after Freeze was hired last season. 

Auburn will still have a lot of unknowns over the next 16 days until kickoff but with the quarterback decision – one of the biggest questions facing the program this off-season has been answered.