HOOVER, Ala. — When Auburn football landed former Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham over Texas A&M this offseason, Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin knew the Tigers were getting a great one.
In December, Stidham opted to join Auburn over Texas A&M, which signed quarterback Kellen Mond out of high school during the 2017 recruiting cycle. It was the second time Stidham picked somewhere away from Sumlin’s A&M, as he recruited the quarterback out of Stephenville, Texas, before he went to Baylor.
“He’s a very talented young man,” Sumlin said Wednesday at SEC Media Days. “He’s a guy in high school, I thought he was as good as there was. We had to make decisions in recruiting at our place, and we made those decisions.”
Stidham is projected to start at quarterback for the Tigers in 2017 after sitting out the 2016 football season at McLennan Community College in Texas.
He threw for 1,265 yards, 12 touchdowns and two interceptions in his only season at Baylor. Stidham made three starts before missing the rest of the season with injury.
Auburn values Stidham’s arm talent after struggling with deep-ball passing in recent seasons. At Baylor, Stidham averaged 11.6 yards per attempt and completed nearly 69 percent of his passes.
“He brings a lot to the table as a guy that can move around a little bit, but a guy that’s highly accurate and can throw it,” Sumlin said.
Auburn faces Texas A&M on Nov. 4, when the Tigers travel to College Station. The road team has won every game in the series between the two schools since the Aggies joined the SEC in 2012.
Sumlin said he hopes Stidham “doesn’t throw the deep ball against us” and sees a bright future for the Texan quarterback who is now on the Plains.
“He’s going to be successful,” Sumlin said. “It’s just a matter of when and what time. … I wish him the best of luck and wish him success.”