EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fifth installment in a series looking ahead to the start of Alabama football’s fall practice. Today we break down the quarterback position:
The top two
Jalen Hurts was SEC Offensive Player of the Year two seasons ago as a freshman and carries a 25-2 record as a starter. He enters his junior season as a veteran who has passed for 4,861 yards and run for 1,809 more, producing 61 touchdowns. His mobility and threat as a runner make him most dangerous, but he also gets big marks for ball security with only 10 career interceptions (just one coming last season). Tua Tagovailoa played as a backup last season as a freshman, coming off the bench to lead Alabama to victory over Georgia in the national championship game. He passed for 636 yards and 11 touchdowns with two interceptions while running for 133 yards and two more scores. Hurts has completed 61.9 percent of his career passes, with Tagovailoa completing at a 63.5 percent rate.
Mac Jones, a four-star prospect, sat out last season as a redshirt freshman. Layne Hatcher was a surprise late addition in May. The three-star prospect had previously committed to Arkansas State.
Having two quarterbacks who have proven themselves – Hurts by getting Alabama to two national championship games, Tagovailoa by bringing the Crimson Tide from behind in the second half to win last year’s title – is a good problem to have. Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban’s recent announcement that Hurts had told him he plans to be part of the team gives Alabama two winners under center. How it plays out in the battle to determine a starter, or to create roles for both, will be intriguing to watch.