Stidham Ready to Lead His New Team
Jarrett Stidham during day one of fall camp (Photo: Auburn Athletics/Wade Rackley)
On a frigid, late-November Saturday night in Stillwater, Oklahoma, the #10 Baylor Bears, led by freshman quarterback Jarrett Stidham, entered Boone-Pickens Stadium to battle #6 Oklahoma State. In the game, Stidham led the Bears by completing 12 passes for 258 yards and a touchdown in a 45-35 win, ending the Cowboys chance for an undefeated regular season.
However, Stidham did not return to the field after halftime due to injury. Little did he know, that would be the last time he would play for the Bears.
Following the 2015 season, Stidham elected to transfer away from Baylor, in hopes of taking over another program, and leading them to greatness. In 2017, he has the opportunity to do that for the Auburn Tigers.
It has been a long road for Stidham, as he prepares to make his return to the field. This Saturday's season-opener with Georgia Southern can not come soon enough for the Stephenville, Texas native.
"Personally, it’s been a long time. About 21, 22 months," says Stidham. "For the team, we have been working hard, since January. It’s finally here, everyone is excited.”
Not only will Stidham be the new leader of the Auburn offense, but he will be doing so under the direction of new offensive coordinator, Chip Lindsey. In their short time working with each other, the two have formed a bond strong enough to lead Auburn to many victories. Lindsey stated in a media availability on August 27, that Stidham will have a ton of say in the game plan, which stands out to the sophomore.
"He is really open to my ideas. We are able to converse back and forth, pick each other’s brains a bit. I like that about him. It is something that I look forward to going into meetings every day.”
Another important aspect in building chemistry with the offense, is Lindsey's position on the field. Lindsey announced on August 27 that he will be on the sidelines, so that he can look directly into the eyes of his players, getting a better idea of what they are thinking, and quickly finding a solution if any problem occurs. Stidham finds comfort in his coordinators decision, simply, because it is all that he knows.
"I don’t know how the whole “go to the sideline, go to the phone, talk to him in the booth” thing works, says Stidham, on how some offensive coordinators elect to call plays from the press box. "I am excited that he is going to be on the sidelines. I will be able to talk with him face-to-face about what I am seeing, and what I am doing, and ask him questions so that he can explain whatever it is to me.”
Stidham has worked throughout spring, and fall camp to perfect the game plan, as well as building chemistry with his new teammates. Now that game week is here, Stidham is looking forward to bringing back a Friday night tradition that started at Baylor.
"I watch a bunch of movies from the 80's and 90's. I have an entire list of 40 different movies that I pick and choose from this year to watch. So I will bring my apple TV and set it up. That’s kind of my thing.”
Stidham says that the ritual brings his mind to ease, and is open to anyone else joining him this season in the team's hotel.
"I always watched them on my iPad at Baylor, I’m definitely open to whoever wants to have a movie night or whatever.”
What are some of his favorites? Tommy Boy and Roadhouse.