AUBURN | Jarrett Stidham took the next step in his development at Auburn Saturday morning.
The Baylor transfer quarterback took part in his first scrimmage and played for the first time in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
“He hadn't played football in a year. So it's different when you get out here. I thought he did some good things,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “He did some things that Chip (Lindsey) will work on correcting for the rest of spring.
“Even though he wasn't live, when you're out here in scrimmage football and the coaches aren't there and they're off on the sidelines, you just let your guys play. You learn a lot. It was good for him.”
Wade Rackley/Auburn athletics
Stidham directed the first-team offense against the first-team defense in the scrimmage while backups Malik Willis and Woody Barrett split time with the second-team. Stidham wore an orange, non-contact jersey while Willis and Barrett were able to go live.
Stidham connected on a couple of long passes in the scrimmage including one to Will Hasting that nearly went for a touchdown. He also showed off his running ability as Auburn adds more RPOs (run-pass options) to its offense under Lindsey, who was hired as offensive coordinator in January.
“Some of the RPO stuff that we’re doing right now is just really comfortable,” Stidham said. “I felt really comfortable with it because at Baylor most of the offense was RPO. I think it’s going to be good for us and add another element to our offense.”
Stidham is also becoming more comfortable in Auburn. “I’ve loved every single minute of being here,” he said. And in assuming a leadership role on the team.
“I'm still the new guy here and I'm trying to step up and be a leader as fast as possible, but it comes with time to gain the trust of the guys on the team. It's about doing the little things that will stand out,” Stidham said.
He’s already standing out to his veteran teammates.
“I think he came in expecting to be a leader and that’s what he’s done,” senior center Austin Golson said. “Obviously he’s a pretty good football player. I think he’s going to do nothing but get better and become more and more of a leader.”
Stidham even sounds a little like a coach when he talks about what he and the offense need to accomplish the rest of the spring.
"Taking it day by day by building off each practice,” he said. “Today we had a pretty good scrimmage. It was not great by any means. Tuesday when we come to practice we have to be better than we were today. It's not necessarily about getting better at one thing or this or that, it's about building upon each practice after another one.”