Both Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa have skill sets and resumes worthy of being THE guy in Tuscaloosa in 2018, and Saban hasn’t ruled out both guys playing significant snaps. The one thing Saban declared would lift one quarterback over the other is most important.
On ESPN, Saban let go one huge piece of advice for the two Heisman-capable players:
“You’ve gotta win the team, and everything you do to bring attention to yourself, or anybody even in your family that brings attention to yourself, you’re not doing yourself a service in trying to win the team.”
Winning the team sounds simple at the surface, but it’s hard to do that with two high-level players worthy of being the Crimson Tide quarterback locked in a quarterback battle.
Both Hurts and Tagovailoa have made cryptic, pointed statements via Twitter. The two are competitors, and while they’re playing for the same job, they both got to Alabama being alpha males.
A little competition isn’t going to stop them expressing that mentality.
In Saban’s mind, humility and teamwork are going to be the defining factors as to whom will lead his Crimson Tide’s College Football Playoff title defense in 2018.
Saban told his star quarterback duo, “The more that you can do in your performance, your leadership, how you affect other people, the relationships you have on the team and the confidence that you develop in other players in your ability to distribute the ball, because that’s what the quarterback is — the distribution center of the ball — then that’s the guy who’s going to have the best opportunity to win the team.”
Jalen Hurts is 26-2 in two seasons as the Crimson Tide’s primary quarterback. He was the 20th most efficient passer in the NCAA last season with a 150.7 passer rating.
After Hurts’ slow start to last year’s national title game, true freshman Tua Tagovailoa entered the championship game and lead Alabama to a 26-23 overtime victory over SEC foe Georgia, which included three touchdown passes, the last of which was a walk-off, game-winner in overtime.
It’s open season for starting jobs in college football. None may be more coveted than leading one of college football’s all-time greatest dynasties at its peak.
Expect the Hurts and Tagovailoa to put on a show this season, whether it be one or both of them at the helm for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide.