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“I Want To Be The Starter” says Auburn’s Battle-Scarred Field General

By on March 27th, 2017 in Football, News 11 Comments »

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Spring practice has to be tough on Auburn’s incumbent starting quarterback, Sean White. The redshirt junior has had a well publicized up-and-down career on the Plains. After battling and winning the starting role in 2015, he injured his knee against Arkansas. He bounced back and was having a great 2016 season, and some even started looking at the Tigers as a possible College Football Playoff team.

During a six-game winning streak he led the SEC in completion percentage and efficiency rating before a shoulder injury at Ole Miss derailed his (and the Tigers’) season. By the time the Sugar Bowl rolled around, the shoulder was rested and he was pumped and ready. Then on the opening drive, he broke his arm trying to get an extra yard down close, effectively ending the Tigers’ chances at victory.

Now, once again, White finds himself in another quarterback battle but handicapped by the Sugar Bowl injury that hasn’t completely healed. One has to wonder if the signal caller may be snake bitten when it comes to injuries. Although it hasn’t eliminated him from the competition, he has to look on while the other three quarterbacks take reps in 11-on-11 drills. 

It’s tough enough to watch Woody Barrett and freshman Malik Willis shine in Saturday’s scrimmage but even tougher to watch his main competitor, Jarrett Stidham, running the first team. 

As a competitor, you want to be out there and playing,” White said. “That’s the hardest part… I want to be the starter. [But,] I’m just trying to learn as much as I can without getting actual team reps.”

Stidham expressed similar sentiments over the weekend, “I came to Auburn… to be the starting quarterback of the Auburn Tigers.” Watching from the sideline Saturday, White said, “[Jarrett] looks good out there and comfortable and seems to know the offense.”

With Sean not able to participate in contact drills, it appears Stidham has the edge. However, White has the confidence of his teammates, who know what he is capable of when healthy. “I think Sean has a little mean streak to him. He’s not going to back down from anybody,” running back Kerryon Johnson said during last years’ QB race. “He’s a spicy player, and he loves competition. That’s the thing that people get out of playing with him. They really get that attitude that you can feed off of as a team.”

While some have already anointed Stidham as the starter, it would be foolish to count out Sean White. He’s been here before, and he’s proven he has the strength and toughness to overcome the biggest hurdles.

Jarrett Stidham may well be the starter when the Tigers take the field against Georgia Southern on September 2, however, it won’t come without a real fight later this summer from Auburn’s battle-scarred field general.


  1. Col.Angus Col.Angus says:

    If only he were three inches taller and 30 pounds heavier…….

    You have to love the competitive fire Sean has,….and he has the talent to win….when healthy. But you can’t teach, height and speed. As much as I am rooting for the kid personally, for the sake of the program, I hope someone can make it an easy decision for him to be the backup.

    • WarSamEagle WarSamEagle says:

      "three inches taller and 30 pounds heavier" equals Woody Barrett.

    • AUwaterboy AUwaterboy says:

      I don’t think there’s anything that could be said to make it easy for him but if he’s made to be No.2, I believe he’s the kind of leader that will do his best to try to keep the team together behind Stidham.

      • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

        Yeah, I expect he'll be hurt but then he will soldier on and make the best of it… he'll give advice to Stidham and help him be the best he can be. White has the kind of persona that will make a great coach someday, should he decide to go in that direction.

  2. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    White's the incumbent and he's earned the right to compete for the starting position when he recovers. But as I've said before on here, it will be very surprising if Stidham doesn’t get the job.

  3. AUwaterboy AUwaterboy says:

    Not having a backup good enough to step in- in case No.1 goes down has been the problem on the Plains the last two years. The positive of having Stidham here is no matter which guy wins the job, it looks like No. 2 will be capable of leading the offense.

  4. awbee75 says:

    Exactly, water boy. and then Woody. I like it.

  5. jbellison56 says:

    Sad thing about it for Sean is if he had never been hurt, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  6. TigerWoman TigerWoman says:

    Jarrett Stidham may get the job but no matter the outcome, Sean will never give up.

  7. […] is doing the right things both on and off the field. Of course, with his only serious challenger, Sean White, being held out, that’s not too surprising. Folks, how many times have you heard a coach or reporter opine […]