Alabama backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa led the comeback for the Crimson Tide in the national championship game against Georgia in January, but the performance also threw a wrench into Alabama’s future plans: who starts at quarterback for the 2018 season, Tagovailoa or incumbent starter Jalen Hurts.
Nick Saban spoke about the issue on Friday to ESPN’s Chris Low, and the veteran coach is still playing coy on his plans for the upcoming season.
“The most important thing is to play the best guy, and if both guys can play winning football, it’s not out of the question that we’ll find a role for both.”
While Hurts was sometimes maligned during the season for what some perceived as mediocre performances, the sophomore quarterback still led Alabama to the national title game partially thanks to his ability to limit turnovers; Hurts only threw one interception all season.
However, Tagovailoa showed in his comeback against Georgia that he might have the higher ceiling as a passer while keeping the same electric running ability that has helped Hurts diversify the Alabama offense.
Of course, Saban’s quote intimated that he doesn’t seem believe that he will necessarily have to “pick” one guy, and that he has a lot of time to work with for one of the players to separate themselves. Of all the rumors that Hurts could transfer, it looks like Saban is doing his best to make sure seasoned starter doesn’t head elsewhere. At worst, if Saban and Alabama do go with Tagovailoa, it doesn’t exactly hurt to have an experienced player in the backup position.