Jarrett Stidham‘s career began in Stephenville, Texas, where he developed into a four-star recruit, according to Rivals. As a senior, he passed for 2,934 yards and 35 touchdowns, on 183-260 passing accuracy. After originally committing to Texas Tech, Stidham switched to Baylor. He was rated as the sixth best dual-threat quarterback in his class.
The Bears became known for their quarterbacks being able to pass and run, with the likes of Robert Griffin III, Bryce Petty, and Seth Russell and doing such, which was expected to be continued by Stidham. But when Russell went down with an injury, Stidham was thrown into the fire during his freshman campaign.
In his first two games, against Kansas State and Oklahoma, Stidham went 676 yards, six total touchdowns, and two interceptions. However, he injured his back against the Sooners, and then in the following game against Oklahoma State, Stidham went down once again, this time with an ankle injury.
Stidham missed the rest of the season, including the Russell Athletic Bowl. And then it all went down hill at the Baylor University. A huge sexual assault scandal overtook the news, as a number of Bears players, from 2012-2016, were accused of sexual assault, and some were later convicted. This led to the firing of head coach Art Briles and most of his staff.
On July 7, 2016, Stidham announced that he was going to transfer out of the program, and he ended up at McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas. Stidham didn’t play football during the season, but instead, he prepared to transfer to a D1 school for the remainder of his career. In December, he announced that he’d be heading to Auburn University.
Gus Malzahn has made a habit out of recruiting JUCO transfers, like Nick Marshall and John Franklin III, and that continued with Stidham. A couple of weeks prior to the season, it was announced that Stidham would be the starter for the Tigers for their Week 1 matchup with Georgia Southern. He went 14-24 for 185 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
In four games as Auburn’s starting quarterback, he has averaged 211.5 yards per game and has completed 70.6 percent of his passes. The Tigers are 3-1 so far this season, with their only loss coming against No. 2 Clemson on the road. Auburn’s season is coming to a make-or-break moment this coming Saturday, against No. 24 Mississippi State.
If Stidham and the Tigers want to stay in College Football Playoff contention, and still have a realistic shot at winning the SEC, then this becomes a must-win. Saturday will be the most important game in Stidham‘s career to this point, and if he can help his team beat the Bulldogs, and improve to 4-1, it could lead to even bigger games down the road.
Photo Credit: Auburn Tigers & SEC Country.