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Alabama’s Nick Saban talks latest quarterback for 2018 signing class

Nick Saban folding his arms
Marvin Gentry - USA TODAY Sports

With spring meetings occurring this week in Florida for Southeastern Conference coaches, University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban entertained multiple questions on Tuesday – including one on the school’s latest edition to its 2018 signing class.  

Prior to 2017, the Crimson Tide usually has four quarterbacks on its roster. 

As much as he’s a proponent of winning, Saban is also a stickler for numbers and having an insurance policy on signal callers in case something goes awry. Despite not getting a letter of intent at this position in February, three-star Layne Hatcher committed to the Tide last week. 

Hatcher, 6-foot-1 and 204 pounds, is listed as a dual-threat quarterback via 247Sports and the 24th-best prospect from the state of Arkansas. The Little Rock native attended Pulaski Academy and recorded state records for career passing yards (15,472) and completion percentage (74%). 

He guided Pulaski to a 5A state championship last season, however, it was his touchdown to interception ratio in the first six games (38 to 1) that got Saban’s attention. While Tide fans were enamored with Hatcher’s 757 passing yards and nine touchdowns in an 86-56 win over Little Rock Christian, Saban said it is his accuracy and decision making that has Alabama excited. 

“We wanted to bring a couple of guys in whether they had to be recruited guys, or guys that we thought would have upside as potential walk-ons that we could put on scholarship,” Saban said on signing Hatcher. 

“He’s been at a winning program. He’s a very bright guy, he’s a good athlete. I thought he was a really good decision maker. He was very accurate with the ball. So, we were excited to get someone of his caliber to come in and contribute at that position.” 

The Tide carried three scholarship quarterbacks a year ago – Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones — in its run to a College Football Playoff National Championship. Adding Hatcher could simply could be a numbers game, or it could tip off a potential transfer in the making. 

He had offers from Arkansas State and Arkansas, nevertheless, quarterbacks coach Dan Enos accomplished more than enough to land his commitment.  

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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