By now you’ve probably been made aware that A&M is in the middle of an odd recruitment with former Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham. Stidham, a former 4/5 star player out of Stephenville, left Baylor over the summer and enrolled at McClennan Community College for one semester with the intent of transferring to a different institution and being immediately eligible.
Reports from multiple sources indicated that A&M was high on his list of places to transfer, and it seemed as if it was a no-brainer...the 2017 Texas A&M Aggies have talent on their QB roster, but very little experience. Stidham, who has at least two years eligibility left, could conceivably come in and start right away.
All things seemed to be going well...until the past few weeks. Rumors have swirled that A&M was “slow playing” Stidham indicating that they might not be as interested in him as logic would tell you. And now it seems as if A&M has almost moved on completely from him, and is content to go into the 2017 season with Jake Hubenak, Nick Starkel...as well as Connor Blumrick and Kellen Mond
This is a tricky situation, and one that I don’t really blame Sumlin for. Stidham coming in would likely result in either the loss of blue chip IMG QB Kellen Mond to a different school, or the transfer of Nick Starkel. I dont think we’d retain both, and that’s a dilemma for multiple reasons. Mond has a ton of talent and likely needs a redshirt year to be ready, but his connections have already landed us at least one blue chip WR (Jhamon Ausbon). Additionally, A&M doesnt really need the PR of losing another blue chip QB after the public parting of ways with Tate Martell.
Additionally, reports have indicated that offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone seems pleased with the progression/fit of Starkel into the 2017 offense. Starkel is a big kid who seems to have a decent amount of talent.
2017 is Sumlin’s make-or-break year. Another 8-4 (or worse) season will likely result in him being fired...and on the surface it seems like it would make sense for him to mortgage his future to land Stidham. But it seems like Sumlin is going in the opposite direction. Instead of going for the (seemingly) no brainer starter, he’s doubling down on his current roster and looking to build (hopefully) long term success and stability at the QB position.
So is this the right choice? That’s a 5 million dollar question right there, and one that I could go both ways on. There’s no guarantee that Stidham would be a “difference maker” at QB worth the loss of one of our other players. On the flip side, Stidham would be the highest rated QB on our roster from Day 1.
Kevin Sumlin is gambling with his future a bit here. We’ll see how it all turns out.