In addition to reported interest in Houston Cougars quarterback Kyle Allen, new Texas Longhorns head coach Tom Herman has made contact with former Baylor Bears quarterback Jarrett Stidham, according to The Football Brainiacs. Horns247 previously reported that Herman has interest in pursuing Stidham.
The 6’3, 210-pounder spent the 2016 season at McLennan Community College in Waco after transferring from Baylor following the termination of Art Briles amidst the school’s sexual assault scandal.
In order to avoid transfer restrictions and losing a season of eligibility, Stidham didn’t play at the junior college this fall (in fact, McLennan doesn’t even have a football program), instead taking online classes and working as a scout-team quarterback for Midway High School.
A consensus four-star prospect out of Stephenville in the 2015 recruiting class, Stidham was the No. 38 prospect nationally, the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback, and the No. 7 player in Texas, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
During his freshman season in Waco, Stidham took over for injured starter Seth Russell and completed 68.8 percent of his passes for 1,265 yards, 12 touchdowns, and two interceptions before he suffered his own season-ending injury. He also added 70 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
As the top junior-college prospect in the 247Sports rankings, Stidham is a highly-coveted player as he closes in on a decision he hopes to make within the next several weeks.
He’s twice visited Auburn and is also considering Florida and Texas A&M.
The Tigers seem like the overwhelming favorite — head coach Gus Malzahn’s team is trending in Stidham’s 247Sports Crystal Ball projections after his visit last week — in part because Auburn has an open path to the starting job.
Current sophomore Sean White is undersized, inconsistent, and seemingly rather injury-prone, and freshman Woody Barrett is young and raw. The bowl game will be the last for Jeremy Johnson after a disappointing career.
Whether Texas A&M is still heavily in the mix is up for debate, as head coach Kevin Sumlin has to worry about upsetting star 2017 commit Kellen Mond, who might not appreciate the Aggies taking Stidham.
During the SEC championship game, Stidham offered the following on Twitter:
Can't wait to be playing on this day next year.— Jarrett Stidham (@Jarrett_Stidham) December 3, 2016
The timing certainly suggests that he’s heading to the nation’s best conference, but the Big 12 will hold a championship game again in 2017.
Since Stidham is still in contact with Briles, if the former Baylor head coach gets a job in college football next season, it’s possible that Stidham could follow him. The same for current Bears offensive coordinator Kendal Briles.
Herman did recruit Stidham in high school while he was at Ohio State, but Texas doesn’t have the most ideal depth chart with Shane Buechele currently entrenched as the starter — it seems like Auburn makes the most sense for the Lone Star State native.
So while the Longhorns are quite unlikely to land Stidham, Herman’s contact with him indicates that he’s interested in building quarterback depth and won’t be afraid to look at transfers to do so.