Nick Saban has, rather skillfully, kept the Alabama faithful in the dark about who will be his starting quarterback come fall. He’s said he doesn’t have a quarterback controversy, but has also noted that his incumbent starter could lose his job.

First, a little background. Jalen Hurts, the incumbent starter, is coming off a year in which he led the Crimson Tide to a 14-1 record and an appearance in the national championship game. He’s also the reigning SEC Offensive Player of the Year. That’s a more than solid resume.

But the Tide brought in five-star QB Tua Tagovailoa, and that’s where the controversy comes in, especially since the ‘Bama offense struggled at times last season with Hurts behind center.

RELATED: Nick Saban doesn’t rule out a change at quarterback

Saban, on the Paul Finebaum show — and as reported by Saturday Down South — made a remark that muddies the waters even further.

I think Tua has to play, we’re going to need him to play. There may come a time in the season Tua has to play. It’s our job as coaches to make a decision about what would help Tua’s development, so if that occurs, he’ll be ready to do it.

We’re looking forward to — we haven’t decided how — to get him some opportunity to enhance his development as a quarterback by getting some playing time somewhere along the way.

So, here’s where we now stand. There’s no QB controversy at Alabama, even though Hurts could lose his starting job and Alabama “needs” Tagovailoa on the field this season (even though how that will happen remains murky).

Clear? I didn’t think so.

Nick Saban surprises with his comment about Alabama’s quarterback situation Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
Ray Marcano About the author:
Ray grew up in the Bronx, New York, so no surprise --- he's a lifelong New York Yankee fan. He's suffered through the last 40 years of bad New York hoops (he's a Knicks fan) and gets occasional giggles from the Rangers (NHL finals last year!).  In addition to his ...Read more
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