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Alabama Recruiting Update: What the Commit of 2016 Quarterback Jalen Hurts Means

"See your future, be your future. May, make, make it. Make it. Make your future, Danny..."
"See your future, be your future. May, make, make it. Make it. Make your future, Danny..."
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Last month's commitment by quarterback Jalen Hurts to Alabama triggered a pair of interesting storylines. One is the future of Alabama offenses. The other is the recruiting dominoes that were toppled.


Nick Saban has long been a traditionalist when it comes to running offenses. However, he is never one to dismiss trends and neglect adapting. His recent recruiting of undervalued safety/linebacker hybrids is a good example. But another more significant philosophy shift is one of embracing a more mobile quarterback rather than the big-armed statues that have worked so well in past seasons.

For the second straight year, Alabama has secured the pledge of a dual-threat quarterback over one of the pro-style. This is a seismic shift for Saban.

2016 Jalen Hurts Dual 4 stars
2015 Blake Barnett Dual 4 stars
2014 David Cornwell Pro-style 4 stars
2013 Cooper Bateman Pro-style 4 stars
2013 Parker McLeod Pro-style 3 stars
2012 Alec Morris Pro-style 3 stars
2011 Phillip Ely Pro-style 3 stars
2010 Phillip Sims Pro-style 4 stars
2009 AJ McCarron Pro-style 4 stars
2008 Star Jackson Pro-style 4 stars

Despite the result of the final game of the 2014 season, it appears that the Lane Kiffin offense is the way Saban wants to proceed going forward (but maybe with a little more running sprinkled in, eh Kiff?). Some in the national press have speculated that the Bama offensive coordinator could leave Tuscaloosa for a head coaching job after the coming season or for sure after 2016. Either Saban believes Kiffin will be around for awhile to develop these young dual-threat QBs or he has a contingency plan to keep the offense with someone else in charge. It is too soon to speculate who the next OC will be but Kiffin will certainly have plenty of offers come December.

But the question remains: might he stick around? The national press have been saying for years that DC Kirby Smart will be moving on soon. Yet here he is in Year Nine at the Capstone. Surely, Kiffin will stick around at least until his Southern Cal buyout runs out. Any why not? His career and reputation has essentially been rejuvenated. The pressure of being a head coach is off. He is learning from one of the best. Even the Tide Nation has warmed to him.


As mentioned, Hurts is the second consecutive dual-threat QB to commit to the Tide. Another dual QB Woody Barrett has committed to Auburn and Georgia is going with a pro-style and the nation's number one rated signal caller Jacob Eason. What does this mean for 4-star Jawon Pass?

Jawon Pass of Carver (Columbus, GA) was once believed to be the top target of both Alabama and Auburn. However with most of the schools in closest proximity to his hometown getting pledges from other prospects, and other schools filling their QB quota, one has to wonder if there is a flaw on Pass or maybe he just waited too long to decide.

The Elite 11 QB competition starts today at the Nike HQ. Out of the 18 QBs competing, only Pass and Dillon Sterling-Cole (Houston, TX) are not committed. SBNation will have boots on the ground in Beaverton, Oregon. We are hoping recruiting guru Bud Elliott can supply some insight.

Dillon Sterling-Cole Westfield Houston, TX ASU, UF, A&M
Jawon Pass Carver Columbus, GA Lou, Bama, Aub, UNC
Malik Henry IMG Academy Bradenton, FL FSU commit
Jacob Eason Lake Stevens Lake Stevens, WA Georgia commit
Feleipe' Franks Wakulla Crawfordville, FL LSU commit
Dwayne Haskins The Bullis School Potomac, MD Maryland commit
Brandon Peters Avon Avon, IN Michigan commit
Messiah deWeaver* Wayne Huber Heights, OH Michigan State commit
Patrick O'Brien San Juan Hills San Juan Capistrano, CA Nebraska commit
Nick Starkel Liberty Christian Argyle, TX Oklahoma State commit
Shea Patterson Calvary Baptist Shreveport, LA Ole Miss commit
Jake Zembiec Aquinas Institute Rochester, NY Penn State commit
Anthony Russo Archbishop Wood Warminster, PA Rutgers commit
Brandon McIlwain Council Rock North Newtown, PA South Carolina commit
K.J. Costello Santa Margarita Rancho Santa Margarita, CA Stanford commit
Jarrett Guarantano Bergen Catholic Oradell, NJ Tennessee commit
Shane Buechele Arlington Lamar Arlington, TX Texas commit
Jett Duffey Lake Ridge Mansfield, TX Texas Tech commit

* Yes, that guy's name is "Messiah" and will likely make a Key & Peele All-Star team someday. His momz clearly has higher expectations for her son than Lawyer Milloy's momz did for her son.


The days of waiting around until National Signing Day to make a big press conference hat-switcheroo announcement are going by the wayside. Too many coaches got left at the altar because a kid wanted to "shock the world". No position is this more true for than quarterback. The best and brightest are making their decisions earlier then in the past. Since most schools only take one QB per class, it causes a domino effect. As soon as one kid make a choice, it starts a mad scramble.

Below is a list of Rivals top rated 2016 field generals sorted by date of commitment. You can see the patterns.

Feleipe Franks 5.9 LSU 06/01/14 DUAL
Zach Smith 5.8 Baylor 06/01/14 PRO
Jacob Eason 6.1 Georgia 07/19/14 PRO
Zerrick Cooper 5.8 Clemson 10/12/14 DUAL
Seth Green 5.8 Oregon 10/15/14 DUAL
Jaren Hall 5.7 BYU 10/16/14 DUAL
Malik Henry 6.1 Florida State 11/13/14 DUAL
Sonny Abramson 5.7 Virginia 11/22/14 PRO
Jake Zembiec 5.8 Penn State 11/29/14 PRO
Brandon McIlwain 5.7 South Carolina 12/31/14 DUAL
Shea Patterson 6.1 Ole Miss 02/17/15 DUAL
Shane Buechele 5.8 Texas 02/23/15 DUAL
K.J. Costello 6.0 Stanford 03/26/15 PRO
Brandon Peters 5.8 Michigan 04/04/15 PRO
Austin Kendall 5.9 Oklahoma 04/07/15 PRO
Logan Byrd 5.8 North Carolina 04/08/15 DUAL
Max Gilliam 5.7 California 04/10/15 DUAL
Jarrett Guarantano 5.9 Tennessee 04/15/15 DUAL
Devon Modster 5.8 Arizona 04/15/15 DUAL
Tristen Wallace 5.7 Ohio State 04/15/15 DUAL
Nick Starkel 5.7 Oklahoma State 04/16/15 PRO
Deuce Wallace 5.7 Vanderbilt 04/19/15 PRO
Messiah deWeaver 5.8 Michigan State 04/22/15 PRO
Bowman Sells 5.7 Houston 05/06/15 PRO
Skylar Thompson 5.8 Kansas State 05/09/15 DUAL
Dwayne Haskins Jr. 5.9 Maryland 05/15/15 PRO
Patrick O'Brien 5.7 Nebraska 05/21/15 PRO
Tylin Oden 5.8 Louisville 05/25/15 DUAL
Woody Barrett 5.7 Auburn 06/03/15 DUAL
Jalen Hurts 5.8 Alabama 06/05/15 DUAL
Victor Viramontes 5.7 Michigan 06/15/15 DUAL
Jack Allison 5.8 Miami 06/23/15 PRO
Chazz Surratt 5.8 North Carolina 06/26/15 DUAL
Dillon Sterling-Cole 5.8 uncommitted - DUAL
Xavier Gaines 5.8 uncommitted - DUAL
Jawon Pass 5.8 uncommitted - DUAL

Apparently, Pass has Alabama, Auburn, Louisville, and UNC on his short list. However as you can see above, they all already have QB commits to date. Would any of these schools take a second QB in 2016? This could leave a guy like Pass stuck going to a "lesser" team.