Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide have an embarrassment of riches at the quarterback position, but there’s no doubting the fact that Jalen Hurts is “the guy” for Alabama.
Hurts, who’s entering only his sophomore season, mind you, led Alabama to the 2016 CFP National Championship game, and he was a borderline Heisman Trophy candidate while doing so. As a true freshman, he threw for 2,780 yards and 23 touchdowns, while rushing for 954 yards and 13 touchdowns.
He’s a true dual-threat quarterback who has the talent to take over a game, but he’s also poised beyond his years. So why wouldn’t the Crimson Tide roll with Hurts?
At least for some, the why in that question is actually a who.
Tua Tagovailoa joined the Crimson Tide as a five-star dual-threat quarterback as part of the 2017 class. He was the No. 1 dual-threat in the nation, according to the recruiting industry-generated 247Sports Composite, and the No. 32 player overall.
Tagovailoa heads into his freshman season with Alabama with a ton of hype surrounding him, especially considering his spring game performance. Granted, it was a scrimmage, but it was hard to turn away from his 313 yards and three touchdowns, especially considering how good the true freshman looked while doing it.
He looked good enough that some wondered if there was a way he could make his way onto the field as a freshman. Perhaps Saban would find a way to get him reps in a two-quarterback system with Hurts? Though the thinking behind that is very far from what we’re used to seeing from the multiple time champion head coach, could it be possible?
Or maybe, Tagovailoa would simply just outplay Hurts and take the starting position from him.
While anything is possible, don’t hold your breath on that one, at least according to Alabama color analyst Phil Savage. He told SEC Network analyst Cole Cubelic on his radio show that the only way Tagovailoa would be the Crimson Tide’s starter is if Hurts plays his way out of the position (by playing poorly), and he just doesn’t see that happening.
Hurts is a likely Heisman Trophy candidate in 2017, and as good as Tagovailoa is expected to be, there’s no sense in Alabama fixing something that isn’t broken. In fact, it makes sense for the Crimson Tide to redshirt the dynamic freshman in an effort to create as much room between him and Hurts as possible eligibility wise.
Again, it’s worth noting that most head coaches would give up a lot to have the issues that Saban has.