The Auburn Tigers are fresh off of a 9-3 season and an invitation to the Allstate Sugar Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners that’s set to be played on January 2, 2017. The Tigers accomplished such a successful season despite getting extremely inconsistent quarterback play from the likes of Sean White, Jeremy Johnson, and John Franklin III.
— FanSided (@FanSided) December 11, 2016
In order to solve the inconsistencies at the quarterback position, head coach Gus Malzahn has been recruiting former Baylor Bears quarterback Jarrett Stidham hard over the last couple of months after the former five-star dual-threat prospect announced that he would be transferring. Stidham made the decision after it was announced that former Baylor head coach Art Briles would be let go.
According to SB Nation, Malzahn’s hard sell has worked like a charm as Stidham announced via Twitter that he has chosen the Auburn Tigers to play his remaining three years of eligibility. Stidham should instantly be the favorite to win the starting quarterback job in 2017 over incumbent Sean White, who will be a junior next season.
These last 6 months have been crazy and the craziness is finally over. Time to start my next chapter at Auburn University! WAR EAGLE!???? pic.twitter.com/BckaHMO6D3
— Jarrett Stidham (@Jarrett_Stidham) December 10, 2016
When Jarrett Stidham signed with the Baylor Bears in 2015, he was the No. 3 quarterback in the entire 2015 recruiting class behind Kyler Murray, who committed to Texas A&M before transferring to Oklahoma, and Blake Barnett, who originally attended Alabama before transferring to Arizona State. Stidham couldn’t beat out junior quarterback Seth Russell for the starting job at Baylor during camp.
In 2015, Stidham appeared in 10 games for the Bears and completed 68.8 percent of his passes for 1,265 yards, 12 touchdowns, and two interceptions. While those numbers don’t necessarily jump off the page, he really only got extended playing time in three games towards the end of the season after Russell suffered a serious neck injury. In the other seven games, he strictly worked in garbage time.
Jarrett Stidham commits to Auburn, and is immediately the favorite to win the starting QB job in 2017.
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) December 11, 2016
In those three starts, Stidham completed 51-of-81 passes for 934 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions as he led the Bears to victories over Kansas State and Oklahoma State and a loss to Oklahoma. Jarrett also added a rushing touchdown in his start against Kansas State.
Jarrett attended McLennan Community College in Waco, TX, during 2016 despite the school not having a football team. The move allowed him to keep his three years of eligibility.
Ideally, Stidham would’ve rather joined the Texas A&M Aggies in order to stay closer to home as College Station would’ve only been around a three-hour drive from his hometown of Stephenville, TX, and only an hour and 30 minute drive from Waco where his girlfriend still plays soccer for Baylor.
Former Baylor QB Jarrett Stidham announces he’ll transfer to Auburn. He is ranked as the No. 1 JUCO prospect. pic.twitter.com/dWRJxhg40p
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) December 11, 2016
Unforunately for Stidham, Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies weren’t overly interested in bringing him to College Station as they were worried that it would cause some problems with the recruitment of incoming four-star quarterback Kellen Mond. Mond has been committed to the Aggies since June 27, according to 247 Sports, and Sumlin was afraid he would reopen his recruitment if Texas A&M added Stidham.
Instead, Jarrett Stidham will head almost 12 hours east of Baylor to Auburn where he struck up a good relationship with Malzahn and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee. Stidham’s ability to run with the ball and throw it with accuracy should serve him well in the Tigers’ up-tempo no-huddle offense.
Jarrett Stidham also considered the University of Florida before finally deciding on Auburn.
[Featured Image by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images]