Sean White takes aim on his first start at Auburn
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. —Sean White had just finished practice, walked off the field and stopped to do an interview.
"Oh, Sean White!" a teammate and friend playfully exclaimed as he jogged by.
Sean White is getting noticed this week after being promoted from a redshirt freshman who had never taken a college snap to Auburn's starting quarterback for Saturday's 6:30 p.m. game against Mississippi State in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Coach Gus Malzahn told White, and the world, of the promotion Tuesday morning.
"Things kind of got crazy with my phone and everything," White said. "I got off social media. I've really been only talking to my family and a couple of my real close friends, just getting ready for the game. I'm excited, it's my first start, but the important thing is getting a win for this team. It really is."
White said he called his father, Don, soon after Malzahn made the announcement.
"My dad said, 'That's great. Just play football. It's nothing different than what you've been doing your whole life. It's just on a bigger stage.' He said just have fun, and that's what I'm trying to do."
And with that, White went to work.
"I'm ready to go," he said. "I feel like my teammates believe in me. I just want to go get a win for my team. That's how I feel. It's been crazy, but, as soon as I got the news, I was, 'Let's figure out the game plan. Let's go win.'"
White came to Auburn last season with big-enough high school stats after passing for 2,679 yards and 30 touchdowns as a senior at the University School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. But he really turned heads in showcase camps, winning MVP honors at the Elite 11 camp in Florida and winning MVP honors at the Under Armour All-American Game.
White didn't play in Auburn's first three games this year, or the 13 games last year, but says he has "a whole year's experience" with the offense. He and Johnson were in the running to replace two-year starter Nick Marshall during the spring. Johnson, with more experience, won the job.
Now, their roles are reversed.
"Jeremy is a great a team player and he's going to be cool with whatever the coaches think is best for the team," White said. "We're close friends, and we're going to be friends regardless with what happens in football."
White has the responsibility of being the starter now.
"As a backup you had to prepare, but it is on a new level when you're starter," he said. "You know you're playing, you know you're going in, you have to know every different kind of look, every different blitz. Mississippi State may try to confuse me with different looks, so I have to be ready for everything."
An SEC defensive coordinator has a scouting report on the new starter. Auburn's Will Muschamp has to defend White in practice.
"An accurate thrower that is athletic and can certainly function very well in our system," Muschamp said. "I think he understands our system very well. He was very productive and these players have a lot of confidence in him."
White said his teammates "have been giving me great support. I love my teammates. We play for each other, and that's what we're going to do Saturday. They've got my back. I've just got to get the ball to our playmakers. I know if we do our job, we'll have success as a team."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine