Of all the attrition blows Baylor has taken over the last couple of months, this one might be the biggest punch to the gut. Or an area a foot or so south.
Amidst the turmoil of the sexual assault scandal and Art Briles suspension/dismissal, Jarrett Stidham reaffirmed his commitment to the Bears in late May, imploring fans in an Instagram post to “[s]tick with us Baylor nation, we got this.” With time to reflect on the situation in Waco, however, it appears the quarterback has undergone a change of heart and doesn’t have it anymore.
(2/3) And, after speaking with a close family friend, barring a change of heart, Stidham will not play for #Baylor during the 2016 season.
— David Smoak (@DavidSmoak) July 7, 2016
Nothing final on Jarrett Stidham transferring from Baylor. Coach Jim Grobe is aware, actively trying to persuade him to stay, per sources.
— David Ubben (@davidubben) July 7, 2016
The speculation swirling around is that Stidham will go the junior college route for the 2016 season and then transfer to another FBS program early next year. Such a move would allow him to play at that level in 2017, and would leave him with two years of eligibility remaining plus a redshirt season.
Were this departure come to fruition, it would be a significant and damaging blow to the Bears both now and in the future.
If Stidham bolts, it would leave interim head coach Jim Grobe with just two scholarship quarterbacks — starter Seth Russell and true freshman Zach Smith. With Russell returning from a season-ending neck injury, and given the paucity of players at the position, Stidham’s presence would’ve served as an invaluable life jacket should Russell struggle.
Last season, Stidham started three games as a redshirt freshman in place of the injured Russell before going down with a broken ankle that ended his own season. He had been penciled in as the Bears’ quarterback of the future when Russell departed after the 2016 season.