For months, junior Jalen Hurts and sophomore Tua Tagovailoa have been at odds over who will be the starting quarterback for head coach Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Things have been testy and we've seen a war of words between the two, but at least one person claims that the only competition in Alabama is for the role as backup.
SEC guru Paul Finebaum, never short on supporting all things SEC football, claims that through a few anonymous sources, the only competition left at Alabama's quarterback competition will be for the backup job — Finebaum says that the starting job is already locked up.
An Alabama team meeting tried to squash the magnitude of the race, but that hasn't stopped the media storm ahead of the Crimson Tide's first game of the season against Louisville on September 1.
As the Crimson Tide roll on through fall camp in Tuscaloosa, the Alabama quarterback battle has been clouded with doubt, but now the picture is becoming clearer with every practice.
"Apparently, select boosters get to go to these scrimmages on the weekend, and they're not allowed to tweet, or text, or tell anyone what they saw, although several have told me what they saw," the longtime SEC reporter said on The Paul Finebaum Show. "And guys... I don't know how much longer Nick Saban is going to be able to camouflage this quarterback competition."
Finebaum added, "Tua is going to be the starter."
Are you ready for the hurricane?
The sophomore from Hawaii, who led the Tide as a true freshman to the College Football Playoff national championship victory over Georgia after coming in to relieve Hurts' slow start, was the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback recruit in the country coming out of high school.
Tua Tagovailoa's arm talent, by many scouts' observation, exceeds Hurts' passing ability and would give the Crimson Tide the top-flight passing attack they haven't had in a long time.
To see Hurts get supplanted would be devastating because he's done everything he can to earn the starting job.
Jalen Hurts, who is 26-2 as the starter at Alabama, has thrown for 4,861 passing yards and 40 touchdowns against only 10 INTs, and he's put up 1,809 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns over two seasons.
Apparently, that's not good enough to earn first-team reps for Nick Saban.
Hurts' father, Averion Hurts, has said that if his son is not named the starter at Alabama, that he would likely transfer out of the program to play elsewhere with three years of college eligibility remaining.
Is this it? Have we officially settled the score in Alabama?
Not a chance.
Paul Finebaum, in all his infinite wisdom and sources, isn't the coach. We'll take his word that Tua is the clear leader in the clubhouse, but this race isn't over yet.
When the sheriff Nick Saban gets in front of microphone and names the starter for his football team, then we'll officially call this QB competition.
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