Breaking down the Alabama quarterback competition

Kijani King, Reporter


We are about a week away from College Football kickoff and Alabama is still trying to find its next starting QB for the 2016 season. It is currently a three man race for the job and I will go through all the contenders for the spot under center this year.

Cooper Bateman

Bateman is a redshirt junior and is the only QB on roster with experience in a college game. He was in contention for the starting job last season and started in Week 3 against Ole Miss. People have raved about Bateman athletic ability and the experience he has should definitely give him an edge in the race. However, his deep accuracy is questionable, and when you have receivers that can stretch the field like Calvin Ridley, Ardarius Stewart, and Robert Foster, that would limit the offense’s production. Regardless, he should have the best grasp of the offense compared to anyone, giving him the edge in the competition.

Blake Barnett

Barnett is a redshirt freshman with a lot of high expectations surrounding him. He has a lot of talent around him and is good at evading pressure and making big plays. Also unlike Bateman he doesn’t struggle stretching the field. However, turnovers have held him down in the race so far, and Nick Saban doesn’t want a QB to turn the ball over. Barnett has all the potential in the world, but his decision making must improve over everything if he wants a chance to start this season.

Jalen Hurts

Probably the biggest surprise to have stuck around this long, Hurts is a true freshman QB loaded with talent. He is a freakish athlete, especially for a QB, and he is still a good passer as well. He was also on campus to help the Tide prepare for the National Championship game, as he role played Deshaun Watson. He was considered by many to be a wild card early in the race but he’s managed to stick around this long. So with all this hype what’s holding him back? Nick Saban has never started a true freshman quarterback. But, he has never had a QB like Jalen Hurts. He has possibly the most talent in the world for this spot, but he has to show the coaches he’s capable of “taking the bull by the horns” as Nick Saban put it.

The Verdict

Nick Saban wants a QB that can step up and lead the team, like Jake Coker did in the middle of the season last year. He doesn’t wanna just rush the competition and throw someone out there, he wants everyone to have a chance to settle in to the spot. That being said, I think the Week 1 starter against USC will be Cooper Bateman, but Hurts will settle in to the starting job early to middle of the year. I honestly feel the competition will go on until Week 3, when Alabama travels to Ole Miss. Whether it’s before or after the game like last year where a QB settles into that spot under center, we’ll just have to wait and see.