Auburn tabs Heisman darkhorse Jarrett Stidham as starting QB

Jarrett Stidham was formally handed the keys to the Auburn offense on Monday.

Tigers coach Gus Malzahn confirmed he has selected the darkhorse Heisman Trophy candidate as the team's starting quarterback.

Although Stidham is relatively unproven -- he made just three starts at his previous school, Baylor -- he has the talent and athleticism to flourish in a Malzahn system that can be electric with the right quarterback. He was selected the No. 6 quarterback to watch in college football by NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein, and will have the benefit of a proven workhorse of a rusher in Kamryn Pettway. Stidham was expected to beat out veteran Sean White for the job, but Malzahn's relatively early decision should give him a heavier dose of practice reps with the first team as the Tigers continue through fall camp.

In limited action at Baylor, Stidham completed 75 of 109 passes for 1,269 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Bears in 2015. He opted to transfer following the firing of former coach Art Briles. He played at McLennan Community College last year before transferring to AU. Because he'll be three years removed from high school after the season, he'll be able to file for 2018 draft eligibility if he so chooses.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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