What makes Ty Simpson a viable option for Alabama’s starting quarterback
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Alabama fans are ready for Monday to start answering some questions about next season’s football team.
The biggest question is who is better suited for starting quarterback, Jalen Milroe or Ty Simpson?
RELATED: What makes Jalen Milroe a viable option as Alabama’s starting QB
Nick Saban has a marquee competition at the position for the first time since 2014.
We have discussed the reasons that make Milroe a viable option for the job, but now it’s time to look at Simpson. He added weight in Alabama’s offseason 4th Quarter Program, growing to 203 pounds on his 6-foot-2 frame. As a Tennessee native, Simpson arrived as a five-star in the 2022 signing class. He played in five games last year, but Simpson kept his redshirt.
Below are the qualities that make him a viable option for the starting quarterback job.
1. Exceptional arm talent
Simpson has big-time arm talent, and Tide fans saw it last spring.
He threaded the needle on passes in Alabama’s A-Day Game. Simpson had a lot of success at Westview High School, especially during his senior year in 2021. He totaled 2,827 passing yards and 41 passing touchdowns, helping his program to a Class 2A Tennessee State Championship. Simpson earned Gatorade Player of the Year honors for the state of Tennessee.
RELATED: WATCH: AJ McCarron rips throw between two defenders for touchdown
He brings the potential of making marquee throws on the field. The Tide signed Kobe Prentice, Isaiah Bond, Kendrick Law, and Shazz Preston in the same class as Simpson as wide receivers. He wants to show he has built a rapport with those players.
2. Deceptive athleticism
Simpson is not as fast as Jalen Milroe, but he is athletic enough.
His footwork and speed are deceptive as Simpson slips away from sacks. He showed his wheels in the 2022 spring game and during his high school career. Simpson recorded 862 rushing yards and 11 scores in 2021 while having 311 yards rushing and seven touchdowns in 2020 as a junior. He makes a lot of his big plays in the run game off scrambling around, but it would be interesting to see how Simpson looks in a run-pass-option scheme. He does enough with his legs to make defenders honest.
3. Gunslinger/Gamer mentality
AJ McCarron was the last Alabama quarterback people categorized as having a ‘gunslinger’ mentality.
Mac Jones carried that mindset in the 2020 season. Simpson has it also as he loves to make plays.
He possesses a lot of confidence in his arm and is not afraid to cut it loose. As a coach’s son, Simpson wants to make good decisions with the ball but also has a gamer’s mentality. He wants to go out there and have fun playing the position he loves.
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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.