Connect with us

Alabama Football News

The NCAA Might Have Help Nick Saban

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In 1937, Warren Alfson made a decision that affected the game of college football forever.

Alfson was entering his sophomore year at the University of Nebraska when he realized, he didn’t have a good chance at getting playing due to the number of experienced players that were ahead of him. He also started college several years after high school and felt he needed more time to prepare for the collegiate level.

As a result, Alfson only suited up in practice and stood on the sideline in a Nebraska Huskies jersey with no number on it and the term “Redshirt” came to life. Alfson was really successful after sitting out his sophomore season. He came back as a redshirt sophomore and earned All-Conference and All-American honors. In today’s game, redshirts are used for multiple reasons. Players may need time to mature; physically and mentally, they may need an academic redshirt or they could get hurt and received a medical redshirt. This rule changed the game and the landscape of college football.

The NCAA now has made some landscaping plans that could shake up college football once again with a change to the redshirt rule.

The NCAA announced on Wednesday that student-athletes that play division 1 football may play up to any four games without losing a year of competition, beginning in October. In a nutshell, this means a student-athlete could play in any four games of the season in any order and not lose a year of eligibility. For example, a 5-Star recruit could play in his team’s four toughest games of the season and help his team win without losing a year of eligibility. Another example could be if a star player gets hurt and may be out for a game or two. That team doesn’t have to worry about not playing a specific player, because they had plans of redshirting him.

So how does this help Alabama’s quarterback situation?

Many anticipate, that the loser of this quarterback competition will transfer. That is possible, but this new rule change may have some impact on that decision.

First, let’s look at how this rule change could impact Jalen Hurts if Tua Tagovailoa wins the starting job. In one scenario, Hurts could just play in four of Alabama’s more significant games and give the Crimson Tide a unique running quarterback package to catch teams off guard, gain his degree and then possibly transfer as a redshirt junior instead of a graduate transfer. This scenario seems very unlikely, due to the fact that Hurts is going to go when his team needs him at any point of the season and the Tide tend to have a ton of games where they need their back up quarterback to come in and do some mop-up duty, but you never know.

Another scenario could be where Alabama’s quarterback competition goes into the first couple games of the season, and Hurt’s realized that Tagovailoa is going to win the job. Hurts could inform Saban that he wants to redshirt and possibly could play in one or two more games, get some extra film and not lose a year of eligibility.

On the flip side, this rule change could have a just as significant impact on Tagovailoa if Hurts wins the job. Tagovailoa also now gets a chance to possibly play in four of Alabama’s more significant games, catch team’s off guard with his free and confident playing style due to the lack of film teams will have him and put a two-year gap between him and Hurts. This scenario could work with Alabama’s other quarterback, Mac Jones, showing he is ready to make some plays in college football.

Another scenario could be where Tagovailoa just wants to transfer because he lost the quarterback competition. He gets a chance to play in four games, get some more film, proving he is as great as people say and transfer and still be a redshirt sophomore.

This rule change could affect the Tide’s quarterback race in so many ways and could also have no impact on it what so ever. Fall camp will bring a lot of questions and hopefully a ton of answers.

Justin Smith is a Scouting/Recruiting analyst for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via @Jdsmith31Smith

More in Alabama Football News