When redshirt freshman quarterback Sean White takes the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday for his first college start against Mississippi State, he’ll do so with high praise from his personal coach, Ken Mastrole.

Mastrole doesn’t have the same name recognition as fellow passing guru George Whitfield, but the former college quarterback knows talent when he sees it and has given tips to several future pros at his academy in Estero, Florida including Teddy Bridgewater and E.J. Manuel.

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In a recent interview with 247Sports, Mastrole, who worked with Alabama’s Blake Sims and South Carolina’s Dylan Thompson last season, says White has all the tools to be successful as a starting quarterback in the SEC and will prove his value on the Plains.

“I know undoubtedly he has the arm talent, the arm strength, the anticipation and the moxie to play the position,” Mastrole said. “I think he really embodies all those things. He’s definitely a guy that, when I look between his two ears, he has all of that. It’s the way that he’s wired.”

He says White’s redshirt year last season was vital to his development.

“I think that year of being able to travel with the team, go to places like Alabama, Ole Miss and see how to compete and play, I think that just gave him mental repetition,” Mastrole told 247Sports. “It definitely helped being able to see it and be around those guys and really learn how that offense operates and the components within that offense.”

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn admittedly struggled with his decision to bench Jeremy Johnson, who was a preseason Heisman candidate, in favor of White. Earlier this week, Malzahn talked about White’s opportunity.

“I feel like he needs a shot right now,” Malzahn said.

Malzahn added: “I’ll say this from a coach’s standpoint and player’s standpoint, you take it one game at a time and that’s the way we’re doing it. We’re thinking about nothing but Mississippi State. Right now, Sean White is our starter.”