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NFL media analysts impressed with Alabama quarterbacks at Elite 11 pro day

© Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports

After what he did against Georgia in January and the talent Alabama will have surrounding him in the fall, it is no question as to why Tua Tagovailoa is the favorite to start at quarterback. 

Despite being limited throughout spring practice (hand), the rising sophomore looked perfectly fine last week at the Elite 11 pro day event in California. His accuracy, timing, anticipation and ball placement grabbed a lot of attention from NFL media analysts – including Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks, who both were impressed by the Hawaiian native and former five-star talent. 

Brooks, a former NFL player and scout (Panthers and Seahawks), compared Tagovailoa to Seahawks’ quarterback, Russell Wilson. As he enters his seventh year in the pros, Wilson has made it possible for guys 6-feet/under to carve out a career with the big boys as a signal-caller. 

He delivered Seattle a Super Bowl championship in 2013, guiding the franchise to a 43-8 blowout win over the Denver Broncos. During the season, Wilson compiled 3,357 passing yards with 26 touchdowns to nine interceptions. While Tagovailoa is garnering praise, returning starter Jalen Hurts held his own at the event. Regardless of his struggles versus top-ranked defenses, he connected on multiple passes and displayed a sense of maturity that endeared NFL scouts. 

The native Texan posted a photo Sunday via Instagram with the caption “Hustlers Don’t Stop, They Keep Goin.'” A change in hairstyle did not help in Alabama’s spring game, however, adding Dan Enos as a quarterbacks’ coach is huge. Taking his success with Ryan Radcliff, Cooper Rush, Brandon Allen and Austin Allen into account, Enos could very well produce greatness with Hurts.  

“Hustlers Don’t Stop, They Keep Goin’” #Blessed #NeverSatisfied #AllGlory2God

A post shared by Jalen Hurts (@thefuture_____2) on

Hurts’ goal entering fall camp is to hold off Tagovailoa and remain Nick Saban’s starter for a third straight year. If he can rid himself of his fear of making mistakes, then the competition may be closer than what most people expect. With adding a fourth guy to the quarterback room – Layne Hatcher – this summer, Saban has a tough decision but it’s one that must benefit the team. 

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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