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Stephen's Report

SEC Network’s Greg McElroy weighs in on Alabama’s 2016 QB competition

Cedric Mason- Touchdown Alabama Magazine

Alabama’s first national championship quarterback under Nick Saban is already picking favorites.

SEC Network analyst Greg McElroy was in Tuscaloosa last week during the Crimson Tide’s national title parade.

After seeing what Blake Sims and Jacob Coker did in the last two years, McElroy already has an idea on who should start next season in Lane Kiffin’s offense.

According to multiple sports media outlets, McElroy has tipped his hand toward redshirt freshman signal-caller Blake Barnett. A native of Corona, Calif., Barnett was a five-star prospect upon enrolling in 2015. He was the top-rated pocket passer and dual threat quarterback, per ESPN’s recruiting site.

Standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing 210 pounds, Barnett has developed toughness emulating opposing quarterbacks on scout team for Alabama’s first-team defense.

“If I were to guess, I might lean toward Blake Barnett,” McElroy said per SEC Country writer Alex Martin Smith. “He’s a young kid that has some stuff, and he was exceptional on scout team this year, giving these guys a really nice look.”

McElroy added with “If he’s the quarterback, he’s more athletic than what we’ve seen from Jake Coker.”

Barnett will enter spring practice and fall camp against David Cornwell, Cooper Bateman and true freshman Jalen Hurts.

His athletic abilities could lead to Kiffin running a similar offense that was used with former Alabama quarterback Blake Sims in 2014.

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama MagazineYou can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.

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