Since Jarrett Stidham left Baylor in the wake of the program’s sexual assault scandal, he’s been the most sought-after quarterback transfer in college football.
Now the former 5-star recruit is heading to Auburn, and the hype train already is picking up steam.
Our own Shehan Jeyarajah says he’s already the best quarterback in the SEC, and a case can be made for that statement.
Stidham is 6-foot-3 and reportedly runs a 4.6-second 40-yard dash, so he figures to fit Gus Malzahn’s offense to a T.
It will be an upset if he isn’t the starting quarterback on the Plains when the season starts in 2017, but what kind of year can we expect from him?
Let’s take a look back at a few other recent JUCO quarterbacks and how they fared in the SEC:
Cream of the crop
Cam Newton, Auburn — Tigers fans won’t need to be told that there are two recent success stories about JUCO quarterbacks making their way to Auburn.
Newton started at Florida but wound up at Blinn College in Texas, where he led the Buccaneers to an NJCAA National Football Championship.
His one season on the Plains was memorable. Newton won the Heisman Trophy in 2010 and led the Tigers to a BCS title against Oregon.
Nick Marshall, Auburn — Like Newton, Marshall started at another SEC school (Georgia) before ending up at a junior college. His play at Garden City (Kan.) Community College got him a chance to redeem himself in the league.
He cashed in, leading the Tigers to an appearance in the BCS Championship Game against Florida State.
Chad Kelly, Ole Miss — After a messy divorce from Clemson, Kelly tried his luck at East Mississippi Community College, where he led the Lions to a national title.
He continued lighting up secondaries as a Rebels QB, throwing for 6,800 yards and 50 touchdowns in two seasons before having his final year cut short because of injury this fall.
Too early to tell
Stephen Johnson II, Kentucky — He began his career at Grambling before suffering an ankle injury and eventually deciding to transfer to the College of the Desert in Palm Desert, Calif.
He was forced into action for the Wildcats this season after Drew Barker’s back injury and played well. Johnson is 7-3 as a starter and threw for 1,862 yards and 12 touchdowns. He added 278 yards and 2 scores on the ground.
The quarterback derby in Lexington in the spring is going to be interesting.
Jake Hubenak, Texas A&M — The former Blinn College quarterback has had a stop-and-start career in College Station.
He started the bowl game last season after Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray transferred. Then, he filled in again for an ailing Trevor Knight at the end of this season.
Hubenak’s numbers are steady, if not spectacular, but with highly touted prospect Kellen Mond on the way, it seems unlikely that he’ll get an extended run as the starter.
John Franklin III, Auburn — The Netflix star began his career at Florida State before getting his “last chance” at East Mississippi.
He is Auburn’s third-leading rusher this season with 414 yards and 2 touchdowns, but has thrown only 19 passes. After being tabbed as the sure starter by many pundits in the preseason, it’s safe to say he hasn’t quite lived up to expectations.
He has a season of eligibility left to turn things around, but his future is up in the air now.
A.J. Derby, Arkansas — To be fair, Derby is playing in the NFL. But he’s doing so as a tight end.
He started at Iowa before making his way to Arkansas via Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College. He was a backup as a junior in 2013 before moving to tight end as a senior.
He was drafted in the sixth round by the Patriots, so though he wasn’t a great quarterback for the Razorbacks, he was still a good player.
Zack Stoudt, Ole Miss — Stoudt came to Oxford from Iowa Western and made 4 starts in the 2011 season. He completed less than half of his passes, tossing 8 interceptions and 2 touchdowns.
He left the team the following summer, setting the stage for a more successful JUCO quarterback, Bo Wallace, to step in.