Much to the appreciation of Auburn fans, Tigers quarterback Jarrett Stidham announced last week that he was returning to school in 2018 as opposed to declaring early for the NFL Draft.
Stidham joined ESPN radio’s “You Make the Call” in Waco, Texas, on Wednesday and discussed what led to his decision to return for his redshirt junior year.
“I had to put the pros and cons like I did with transferring from Baylor,” Stidham said. “I looked at the pros and cons of both, and honestly, I felt like our team this year, we were really close to where we wanted to be. I mean, we were one game away from playing Oklahoma in the playoff, and so on and so forth. It is what it is, but I feel like the team was right there on the ledge of making that next step as a program.”
After going on an elk hunt to clear his head, Stidham decided he and the Tigers had too much “unfinished business” for him to leave school early.
“I still want to give this team everything I have, give the coaches everything I have,” Stidham said. “I can improve as a player and try to finish some business, really. It’s just, in the SEC it’s a really tough league, and like I said, I thought we were really, really close this year. Sure enough, I decided to come back, and we’re going to obviously get back to work and see what we can do.”
Auburn lost 28-7 in the SEC Championship Game vs. Georgia on Dec. 2. That defeat came just three weeks after it beat the Bulldogs 40-17 at home.
The Tigers also beat national champion Alabama 26-14 in the Iron Bowl, however finished the year with a 34-27 loss to UCF in the Peach Bowl. Auburn also lost to Clemson and LSU, finishing the year with an overall 10-4 record.
Stidham and the rest of the team clearly want to improve on those inconsistencies.