"So far, so good," Jarrett Stidham said. "We came out last week and the first day we were going really fast. It was like we haven't skipped a beat. We're having good days, and we're getting better each day."
The goal at Stephenville is to bring home a state championship, something that Stidham said he feels is realistic. The Yellow Jackets bring back a salty defense, but must replace production on offense. Part of that process is the transition of the rocket-armed Stidham from wide receiver, where he excelled a year ago, to quarterback.
"It's different, not only with me playing quarterback now, but with me assuming more of a leadership role," Stidham said. "I'm having a bigger impact with the guys and being a little more vocal. Last year, I was a young guy on the team and was playing a position other than quarterback."
Does the leadership aspect come naturally to Stidham?
"I think so," Stidham said. "I don't like to follow, I like to try to lead people in the right way."
Stidham said his busy summer — he attended several camps and helped Stephenville into the Texas State 7-on-7 Tournament — helped him progress as a passer.
"It definitely helped me," Stidham said. "I threw just about every single day. So when I came into camp, it wasn't weird for me to throw a ton of balls every day. I was kind of used to that.
"Throwing with the receivers and everything through the summer also gave us a bit of an edge," Stidham said. "Once we got into camp, you could see the summer really helped us out."
Stidham balancing an up-tick in recruiting attention along with his new duties as Stephenville quarterback.
"I"m still talking to assistant coaches and touching base with them," Stidham said. "I have a football season to focus on, first and foremost. At the same time, I'm still thinking about taking a few visits and catching a couple of games."
Stidham said he didn't have any specific plans for visits, except that he would "probably check out Texas here pretty soon, hopefully." Stidham was worn down by his excessive work on the camp circuit and said he chose to rest the weekend of Texas Stampede, but added that he wanted to visit Austin again.
"They want to get me down there to watch practice," Stidham said. "I'd like to, but I'm not sure when."
Stidham recently had a long phone conversation with Texas offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Major Applewhite, one that he said was an eye-opener for the Longhorns.
"It went really well," Stidham said. "I had a question for him. I wont say what it was, but he gave me a really honest answer, and it was kind of what I wanted to hear. I think, for me, it kind of gave me a better perspective for how things could be at Texas. It was a good talk, and in the long run, I think it will help me out a lot if I do wind up going to Texas.
"After that conversation, it opened my eyes a little bit for Texas," Stidham said.
Still, Stidham isn't under any pressure to make an early decision, and he said he's still in the process of finding out more about the schools recruiting him.
"For the most part, I'd say I'm still in the fact-gathering stage," Stidham said. "I'm seeing what everyone has to offer. Now that I've been to a few more camps and made some visits, I've kind of compared some of the schools. But I'm still wide open for the most part."