Which Quarterback Is under the Most Pressure Going into 2017? [Audio]
Spring practice is getting underway for teams across the SEC including Auburn who started practice earlier today.
For the first time since 2007 both Alabama and Auburn return starting quarterbacks from the previous season as the Crimson Tide returns Jalen Hurts at quarterback for his sophomore season while Sean White goes into his junior season looking to avoid injuries for the first time in his Auburn career.
Although Alabama has not officially started spring practice for 2017, former Crimson Tide fullback Martin Houston looked ahead to the spring during Monday’s edition of “The Blitz” by examining the pressure that the candidates at quarterback for both Alabama and Auburn heading into the 2017 season.
While Jalen Hurts won 13 games as Alabama’s starting signal caller as a true freshman in 2016, a lot of attention has been paid to recent signee Tua Tagovailoa for his accomplishments as a high school quarterback in Hawaii and his potential in a crimson and white uniform. During his discussion on the Hurts vs. Tagovailoa angle, Houston reminded listeners of two past high-profile signees at quarterback whose success in high school did not translate into success in Tuscaloosa.
“Everybody forgets that we had Blake Barnett starting based on what he did in high school. We had Phillip Sims being an All-American based on what he did in high school. Phillip Sims was one of the most accomplished high school passers in the country when he came out.” Houston said.
The former Alabama fullback later outlined weaknesses that affected Hurts during his freshman season including his throwing motion and how the correction process affected him as a true freshman.
“Most quarterbacks go through this type of transition when they come from high school to college, but they get to do it behind the scenes at practice as a redshirt. Jalen (Hurts) didn’t have that opportunity. I think Jalen hit a freshman wall. I think the mental side got too much for him, and I think that also the way he was coached down the stretch hurt him.” Houston stated.
Across the state, Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham looks to unseat Sean White as Auburn’s starting signal caller. Houston looked at the pressure Stidham has going into spring practice.
“Does Jarett Stidham have any pressure on him? I would say yes because everyone is saying he’s the starter, but the guy has played big time college football in a passing offense. Based on this offense that (Chip) Lindsey is going to employ at Auburn, it could be really an easy transition for Stidham because he and White are learning it together.” Houston said.
The host of “The Blitz” also looked at what Sean White brings to the table at quarterback and the likelihood of him retaining his status as Auburn’s starter under center.
“I don’t think Sean White is an elite quarterback, can never be an elite quarterback at any level. I think he’s a tough hard-nosed kid who plays the game hard and will fight for his team, but I don’t think he is in the same talent level with any of the three quarterbacks we’re talking about outside of him. I don’t think there’s as much pressure on him because I think he knows that barring some type of injury to Jarrett Stidham, he’s not going to be the starter at Auburn.” Houston said.
“The Blitz” begins live and local coverage of Alabama sports each morning from 6-7 AM on Tide 102.9/100.9 and the radioPup app.