For the last two seasons, Alabama has seen quite the uptick in production from the quarterback position. Whether it was Jalen Hurts leading Alabama to back to back College Football Playoff National Championship appearances or Tua Tagovailoa displaying his otherworldly arm talent which will help him become a top 10 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
But after four years of comfort, head coach Nick Saban is back to weeding out the competition and finding who will under center for the 2020 season.
His decision will be far from easy as there will likely be three or four players competing for the job in redshirt sophomore Mac Jones, freshman Taulia Tagovailoa, incoming freshman and top recruit Bryce Young and possibly even the great-grandson of Alabama football legend Bear Bryant, Paul Tyson.
As spring football approaches, everyone seems to be putting in their way too early predictions on who will beat out the competition.
Former Alabama quarterback and current ESPN college football analyst Greg McElroy gave a prediction on the competition this week.
“It’s going to be difficult for the young quarterbacks to show enough in practice to overtake (Mac) Jones, who played very well in the final few games of the 2019 season,” McElroy said in an interview with The Spun.
McElroy raises a fair point about the experience of Jones. He started four games last season when filling in for an injured Tagovailoa and made 11 total appearances. In that time Jones threw for 1,503 yards, 14 touchdowns to just three interceptions and completed 68.8 percent of his passes.
None of the other competing quarterbacks have seen this level of playing time so far and Saban doesn’t have a very rich history of starting someone with little experience over a player like Jones. Under Saban, Alabama has had one true freshman start a season at quarterback in Jalen Hurts. But even when Hurts won the job there wasn’t a quarterback in the room who had started multiple games like Jones has.
Even when Tagovailoa made his way to campus and showed obvious talent, Hurts was still Saban’s guy until halftime of the national championship game.
At the end of the day, the decision that is best for the team will be made by Saban. It just depends on when he will make it.
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77