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Stidham off to fast start

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espn.com
 

Quarterback Jarrett Stidham off to fast start at Auburn this spring

Greg OstendorfESPN Staff Writer

AUBURN, Ala. – It has been a week since Auburn began spring practice, and we’ve already seen plenty of activity in the highly contested quarterback competition.

John Franklin III looks like he’s on the move to wide receiver. Woody Barrett has turned heads and might be rising up the depth chart. And last year’s starter Sean White resumed throwing activities at practice Tuesday for the first time since he broke his arm in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

The one constant to this point? Jarrett Stidham.

Jarrett Stidham is trying to learn the Auburn offense and show his new teammates he's ready to lead. Julie Bennett /AL.com via AP

At practice Tuesday when Auburn ran tempo, it was Stidham who trotted out there with the first-team offense. He’s still learning the offense – he has been on campus for only a couple of months – but he looks comfortable as the team’s quarterback. He was yelling the plays out to his teammates as they ran up to the line of scrimmage. He was joking around with some of them during the stretching portion of practice. He’s quickly becoming a leader for the Tigers.

“For him to be here such a short time, he's getting along great with the team,” Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson said. “The thing that stands out to me is that I think he really wants to become a team leader. Obviously that comes with time when you’ve got guys who have been in the program for years – it takes time to really get that role – but he's striving for it, and it shows on the field.”

Added tight end Jalen Harris, “I have noticed that he’s always one of the main ones telling everyone ‘Let’s get it started today,' 'Start off fast,’ that type of thing. He’s a natural leader.”

It’s easy to forget that Stidham didn’t play football at all last year. Outside of a couple of bowl practices in December, this spring has been the first organized football he has participated in since the 2015 season when he was still a freshman at Baylor.

Stidham also has had to deal with high expectations since the moment he signed with Auburn. Most assume it will be only a matter of time before he’s named the starting quarterback, and fans hope he can be the guy to beat Georgia and Alabama and make the Tigers a threat for the College Football Playoff. No pressure, right?

Stidham understands all that. He wants the same thing.

“He’s really hard on himself,” first-year Auburn offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey said. “He’s probably as critical as anybody I’ve been around. When we go back to watch tape and I grade the film, he’s a guy who is pretty hard on himself, which is good and bad. You don’t want him to overdo it, but he holds himself accountable, which I think is very good.

“He has played enough where he’s confident but not arrogant. He knows he has a lot to learn. I’m really impressed with how he’s preparing each day.”

 

Don’t expect Auburn to name Stidham the starting quarterback anytime soon, though. Lindsey admitted Tuesday that Stidham, Barrett and freshman Malik Willis have received the bulk of the reps this spring, but part of that is because White hasn’t been healthy.

Regardless, there are still five quarterbacks – six if you still count Franklin – competing for one spot. There’s a strong possibility a decision won't be made until fall camp.

“I think we’ll know when we know,” Lindsey said. “I’m not ready after four practices to say this guy is this or that. I think it’s a continued evaluation throughout spring ball. We don’t play until September, and I think our guys – we do a great job of practicing fast and getting a lot of reps, so I think we’ll kind of just know when we know.”

Through the first week, it’s clear Stidham is saying and doing all of the right things. Maybe he’ll be the savior for Auburn football. For now, though, he’s focused on learning the offense, becoming a leader for his new teammates, and winning the starting job. The rest will come.

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Why is everyone making JS out to be the greatest thing since sliced bread? Who's better him or Seth Russell? Every qb in Art Briles system looked really good. We have Chip Lindsey coaching JS not father Briles so idk that we can go ahead and mark him down as the best QB in the SEC. Seth wasn't as good when he wasn't coached by Art, was he?

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It's not like there are many good QBs in the SEC at the moment. I don't see many people over hyping him honestly. Especially after what happened with JJ. But there should be excitement with JS with the talent we have on offense. We can't declare him Heisman worthy but after all of the lackluster Qbs we've had....we should be a little excited about JS. 

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I wonder how much playing time Jarrett will get in the A-Day game. I'm counting the days until he plays.

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25 minutes ago, auburn4ever said:

I wonder how much playing time Jarrett will get in the A-Day game. I'm counting the days until he plays.

22 plays

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6 minutes ago, DAG said:

...

i just can't fathom why people are upset that we have a guy who can actually challenge SW for the starting position .

...

!

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I know this is about Stidam and I think he will at least be a solid guy for us, but Woody Barret looks like a freak of nature. I don't know much about his actual abilities as a QB but if Lindsey can get him right he can be a stud as well

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He was yelling the plays out to his teammates as they ran up to the line of scrimmage. 

 

Please tell me this is a sign that we may move away from the HUASAC   (hurry up and stare at coach) offense

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1 hour ago, auburnphan said:

He was yelling the plays out to his teammates as they ran up to the line of scrimmage. 

 

Please tell me this is a sign that we may move away from the HUASAC   (hurry up and stare at coach) offense

Oh my god, don't tell me we're going to trust our QB to audible at the line of scrimmage!  

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15 hours ago, DAG said:

Why are you so upset that many people are excited about the addition of JS?

Now, if we would've missed on JS and kept the same core of QBs last year, some of you would still be upset.

I just can't fathom why people are upset that we have a guy who can actually challenge SW for the starting position.

Now, if this guy would've chosen LSU or Texas A&M, we would be shaking in our freaking boots or bitching about it.

No I'm upset when we but huge expectations on kids and when they don't pan out JJ happens. Glad we got him hope he does great things but wait before handing him the Heisman.

 

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1 hour ago, sevenlee36 said:

No I'm upset when we but huge expectations on kids and when they don't pan out JJ happens. Glad we got him hope he does great things but wait before handing him the Heisman.

 

JJ happened because JJ didn't play good.

The fact that people expected him to play to that level was a testament to the physical ability he displayed on the field prior to his 2014 debut . This notion that it's the media's fault when AU fails is bizarre .

Some people can handle the pressure and some people can't . This is unfortunate in human nature . Secondly , I have found maybe one source who said JS was a heisman candidate and that was from a previous teammate . Most pundits have addressed the addition of JS as a huge get with the POTENTIAL of challenging bama for the SEC west . JS seems to have taken on those expectations with a humbling approach.

Guess what? If SW stayed healthy and played up to his best potential that very same pressure would be there. This comes with the territory of being talented. If AU fails those expectations , AU has to look themselves in the mirror . Not the media . 

To go even further, if you don't like this team having some sort of expectation , heck even hype if you want to call it, please go root for Arkansas or Mississippi State . The expectations there are 8 win seasons with a hopeful uncharacteristic run for the SEC west crown. However, let me tell you , those schools would love to have the attention AU is getting . Now , if you want to tempest expectation than whatever, but even then I have to say why?! This team has too much talent to shy away from expectation . It's time to get some damn swagger around here, act like we belong and stop running from expectations, letting the fear of failure mold our emotions.

Edited by DAG
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20 hours ago, augolf1716 said:

After the last two years your damn right I'm excited with having JS on our side

While I agree in general,,,,.  I think SW, with better coaching and play calling, could have been more effective the last two years.  I hope JS has more of God given talent to overcome deficiencies in coaching and play calling like Cam and Nick did.

 

wde 

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2 hours ago, AUIH1 said:

While I agree in general,,,,.  I think SW, with better coaching and play calling, could have been more effective the last two years.  I hope JS has more of God given talent to overcome deficiencies in coaching and play calling like Cam and Nick did.

 

wde 

I thought the play calling with Nick was awesome! We ran the type of offense that fit his talents, running the zone read and rpo plays, taking the top off when given that.

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On 3/10/2017 at 3:35 PM, sevenlee36 said:

Why is everyone making JS out to be the greatest thing since sliced bread? Who's better him or Seth Russell? Every qb in Art Briles system looked really good. We have Chip Lindsey coaching JS not father Briles so idk that we can go ahead and mark him down as the best QB in the SEC. Seth wasn't as good when he wasn't coached by Art, was he?

Several of us like Stidham because he not only was a 5 Star excellent QB out of High School. He was one of the highest recruited a well. Then he goes to college and is so good he earns early playing time at Baylor. He was not scared, like a deer in headlights when he played either. He was really good. He had very good success. That is why we are excited. 

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7 hours ago, oracle79 said:

Oh my god, don't tell me we're going to trust our QB to audible at the line of scrimmage!  

Um, this freaking excites me! What a change that would be. 

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On 3/11/2017 at 10:29 AM, oracle79 said:

Oh my god, don't tell me we're going to trust our QB to audible at the line of scrimmage!  

Audible? What is this you speak of?

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1 minute ago, WFE12 said:

Audible? What is this you speak of?

Really doubt it but I hope so

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On 3/10/2017 at 3:35 PM, sevenlee36 said:

Why is everyone making JS out to be the greatest thing since sliced bread? Who's better him or Seth Russell? Every qb in Art Briles system looked really good. We have Chip Lindsey coaching JS not father Briles so idk that we can go ahead and mark him down as the best QB in the SEC. Seth wasn't as good when he wasn't coached by Art, was he?

I am just once again upset that we are not putting a mustache on Cam and having him start for us again.

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8 hours ago, Mims44 said:

I am just once again upset that we are not putting a mustache on Cam and having him start for us again.

If Leon Sandcastle can do it, so can Sam Brewton. 

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On 3/10/2017 at 8:12 PM, DAG said:

I just can't fathom why people are upset that we have a guy who can actually challenge SW for the starting position.

Mr. Stidham will challenge SW like Cam challenged Trotter. 

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"challenge Sean White" Sean is being CHALLENGED by Woody for the backup, and likely losing right now. I love what Sean did when he wasn't hurt but the man has clearly hit his ceiling in terms of what he's capable of and Woody/Jarrett are only rising. At some point talent just beats out capabilities, especially when both are in the same system and giving as much effort as they can.

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32 minutes ago, Dual-Threat Rigby said:

"challenge Sean White" Sean is being CHALLENGED by Woody for the backup, and likely losing right now. I love what Sean did when he wasn't hurt but the man has clearly hit his ceiling in terms of what he's capable of and Woody/Jarrett are only rising. At some point talent just beats out capabilities, especially when both are in the same system and giving as much effort as they can.

Idiotic . 

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