‘A big day for me’ – Jarrett Stidham reacts to winning QB job

Local Sports

AUBURN, Ala. — Jarrett Stidham got the good news Monday morning when Auburn coach Gus Malzahn summoned him to his office.

“Obviously, this is a big day for me,” said Stidham after his first practice since being named Auburn’s starting quarterback. “I’m very blessed to be in this position. I’m fired up. It’s been a good day.

“Now it’s just time to lock in and go to work and get ready for Georgia Southern here in a few weeks and get ready for the season.”

Stidham called his family in Texas after being learning he’d won the job.

“They were all really, really excited,” Stidham said. “We’ve been hoping and praying for this day. Sure enough, it came.”

Stidham won the job on the strength of his leadership, ability and work ethic, Malzahn said.

“He’s earned that,” Malzahn said. “He’s performed very well the last two weeks. He performed very well in the spring, too. We’re excited about that. I know the team’s excited about that when we announced it. He had a different step out there in practice today.

Sean White is our No. 2 quarterback. Sean White is a guy we have a lot of confidence in, obviously has won games, has performed extremely well, at a high level, in this league when he’s been healthy. The quarterback depth right now is very high.”

The offensive MVP of Auburn’s A-Day game, Stidham returns to college football after sitting out last season while attending junior college.

“I haven’t played since Nov. 21 of 2015,” said Stidham, recalling his freshman season at Baylor. “I know exactly when my last snap was. I’m itching to get back out there.”

Stidham’s emergence gives Auburn the prospect of a vertical passing to complement the SEC’s top returning rushing duo of Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson.

“He’s got an extremely strong arm,” Malzahn said. “He’s got a lot of skills that could be a very good quarterback. He’s really impressed Coach Lindsey, myself and his teammates.”

“I really love the game of football,” Stidham said. “It’s a big part of my life. I just like to have fun with it, because at the end of the day, you’re playing because you love it and you want to have fun with it.

“Being the leader of a team, you’ve got to have that high energy because they feed off of what the quarterback is doing at all times. I never can get too high or too low. I always need to stay balanced and always keep the same energy, positivity throughout the team.”

Along with the position comes the status as the face of the program, something Stidham accepts but seeks to manage.

“I’ve got tunnel vision from here on out,” Stidham said. “I’ve got one goal in mind and that’s to help this team in every single way that I can. It comes with the territory, but like I said, I’ve just got to have tunnel vision and just stay locked in to what I’m supposed to do, on and off the field, and be accountable.”

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