AUBURN, Ala. — Shortly after he finished his spring game MVP performance for Auburn football, Jarrett Stidham started looking toward the summer.
Stidham completed 16 of his 20 passes in the first half of Auburn’s A-Day Game earlier this month for 267 yards. But the former Baylor quarterback, who took the majority of Auburn’s first-team reps this spring, focused on what he could improve on from that performance.
“I plan to sit down and go back through all the film throughout the spring from Day 1 to Day 15, and see what did good, what I did bad, what I need to get better on,” Stidham said after A-Day. “I think that’s the first step to really improving as a player.”
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A lot of that improvement will come this summer. The Tigers won’t officially practice again for a few more months, which puts pressure on the players to hone their skills by themselves.
Stidham won’t work alone, though.
The Texas native told reporters at A-Day he planned to work with quarterback coach Jordan Palmer over Memorial Day weekend. He’s also ready to grow with his new teammates — especially those at wide receiver.
“Throughout the summer, which is going to be crucial for us, just getting in there and doing some lonely work by myself and throwing with those receivers and making sure I know the protections of the offensive line,” Stidham said. “Make sure we’re on the same page.”
Although he’s expected to win the No. 1 quarterback job during fall camp, when former starter Sean White returns to full action, Stidham is still getting acclimated to Auburn. He arrived on the Plains in December and plugged into an offense filled with experienced players.
Some of those experienced players spoke highly of how quickly Stidham showcased his leadership skills this spring.
“He comes in every day ready to work,” junior running back Kerryon Johnson said. “He’s a very vocal leader. Some people vocally, some show by their actions. Jarrett is one of those guys who really comes in every day. He brings energy.”
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Sophomore wide receiver Nate Craig-Myers — Stidham’s favorite target in the spring game — said he already has a strong connection with the new quarterback.
“We go out to eat here and there, and we just talk and chop it up,” Craig-Myers said. “It’s a pretty good relationship. … He’s a guy who came in day one trying to get with guys and clicking with guys. He came in with a leadership mentality and he pushes you on the field and off of it.”
Stidham’s top priority is for those connections with his new teammates to grow through the long summer months. By August, he expects that progress to be evident on the field.
“I think once fall camp comes around, we’ll run smooth,” Stidham said.
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