Success for Auburn in 2017 Now Rests on Jarrett Stidham’s Shoulders
When Jarret Stidham arrived on the Auburn campus last winter, he told reporters, “I came here to be the starting quarterback for the Auburn Tigers.” Today that dream came true as Head Coach Gus Malzahn named the Baylor transfer the starter for the 2017 season.
After losing a 10-day battle to the newcomer, last year’s starter, Sean White, is expected to be the backup. As tough as this may be to swallow, if Sean has proven anything in his Tiger career, it’s that he’s a loyal team player. Besides, he knows from experience he will be one play away from taking the reins.
The announcement really didn’t take anyone by surprise, and in fact Vegas had already placed the redshirt sophomore on its Heisman watch list. Stidham should have a great opportunity to prove he’s worthy of such high expectations with a talented cast of receivers and a backfield that includes Kerryon Johnson and last year’s SEC leading rusher, Kamryn Pettway.
The Tigers have been on the cusp of being a contender the last two years, but quarterback depth has kept them from returning to that level. Now with Stidham, White, and impressive freshman Malik Willis in the stable, the opportunity should be with in their grasp.
Jarrett’s worked hard to win the confidence of his coaches and teammates, and now that he has it, he also has the added burden of realizing that much of the success for the Tigers in 2017 will be on his shoulders. But … that’s the way he wants it.