One thing Nick Saban put to rest early on in Alabama’s spring practices was who their quarterback will be. It’s obvious that this is Tua Tagovailoa’s starting job. However, the real question coming into this spring is who will be Tua’s backup?
Now that Jalen Hurts is leading the Oklahoma Sooners, the person backing up the junior Heisman Trophy candidate is a very big deal considering Tua was injured quite a bit last season, especially towards the end of the year when he struggled in the team’s College Football Playoff National Championship game loss to the Clemson Tigers.
We all know the story of how Jalen Hurts replaced the injured Tagovailoa to save the Alabama Crimson Tide’s SEC Championship hopes and preserve their undefeated season, but do they have that same player as a safety net this year?
It could be Tua’s little brother, freshman Taulia Tagovailoa, who may have an advantage over the other quarterbacks this spring because of who his brother is, but also because he’s extremely talented. He’s also been around the program for a while now and is familiar with how head coach Nick Saban runs his team.
Will it be Paul Tyson, who is Bear Bryant’s great grandson? What a story this would be if he ended up eventually starting for the Tide. It’s the type of story that only Disney could write. Tyson is not talked about a lot because of the Tagovailoa brothers, but don’t sleep on this young man. He has a great arm, and his play sort of reminds you of Alabama great AJ McCarron.
Taulia Tagovailoa and Tyson faced each other twice last year in high school when Tagovailoa’s Thompson High School met Tyson and Hewitt-Trussville, and both quarterbacks looked scary good.
But the guy most likely to take Hurts’ place is sophomore quarterback Mac Jones. Jones was the third string quarterback last year, played in a few game, and was very impressive in last year’s spring game.
Reports are that Jones has struggled at times during spring practices, which may have opened the door for the two freshman quarterbacks to sneak in, but if you listen to Nick Saban, Jones has progressed and sounds like he will be the Alabama quarterback behind Tua for the upcoming college football season.
Saban said this in a Chattanooga Free Press article:
“I think Mac is a bright guy, and I think he has the right attitude about what he has to do to play winning football at the position. I think he’s showing more maturity in his approach to how he goes about doing things and being a leader and affecting other people.
“We’re encouraged by everything he’s done to this point.”
Alabama fans can see for themselves if Saban is right as the Crimson Tide plays its annual A-Day Spring Game on Saturday at 2pm.