A former Alabama quarterback is set to take over as the starter at his new school.
Layne Hatcher, a member of the Crimson Tide’s 2018 recruiting class who transferred to Arkansas State in April, will be the team’s starter moving forward, it was announced Wednesday night.
Hatcher is stepping in as the replacement for Logan Bonner, who was lost to a season-ending injury.
Good for Hatcher. His one season in Tuscaloosa as a hedge in case Jalen Hurts transferred early wound up being a role we didn’t need, but it very well could have been. He’s a dynamic player who might become a top guy for the Red Wolves this year.
-- Saban said it “amazes” him when he reads articles about comebacks in big games, noting the greatest comeback in NFL history -- Buffalo recovering from a 35-3 deficit against Houston in the 1992-93 playoffs. He said he players in those games often say they forget about the score and just play football, which made Saban wondered why “something bad” has to happen before there is a sense of urgency for players. “Obviously it’s important that our guys have enough maturity that we don’t need something bad to happen for that [sense of urgency] to happen,” he said. “This is an SEC west game and every game you play in your division is like two games, because if you lose, you lose a tiebreaker, too.”
-- Asked about safety Jared Mayden, Saban noted his experience at cornerback and called him a “good cover guy” with “good range.” Saban said coaches continue to emphasize to Mayden that he plays best when he is physical and tough. “You’re a safety now and you’re going to have more opportunities to present that,” he said. “He has done that for the most part and that’s something we want him to continue to focus on.”
Some quotes from Saban here. Notably, I think he’s viewing Christian Harris as the for sure starter going forward after last week’s game and Harris’s obvious improvement.
Mayden has been interesting, and there’s been times this season where, like Shyheim Carter, he’s struggled to make the tackles that a true safety like Xavier McKinney has. There are positives and negatives to using former cornerbacks as safeties. Mayden has the size and the coverage ability, like Saban says, he just needs to really embrace the physical mentality needed to be an all-around great safety.
“I wish that some of the TV people and people from our conference would come, at any stadium, in these kinds of conditions and know that it’s really difficult for the fans. This is an entertainment business that we’re in. I mean, people come to see the games because they enjoy Alabama football and they enjoy the tradition, but they also want to be entertained and see good football. And I think when the circumstances and conditions of the game are very difficult for them, I think you negate some of those positives.
“But we really do appreciate what they do, we always have. Just this year, it’s been a little hotter than normal and stayed hotter for longer, and we’ve had -- fortunately or unfortunately -- all afternoon games so far, so it’s kind of unfortunate for the fans.”
Summer basically shifted by a month this year, as May and early June stayed cooler than usual, but September has probably been even more brutal than August, with no signs of cooling yet. I sat through every home game as a student for the experience of it, but now, there’s not a chance I even consider going to a game until October, unless it’s in a dome for the opener or something. It’s just miserable.
Maybe UA can invest in cloud seeding at game time or something.
Here’s a longer interview from Tua on SEC Network about how he’s trying to improve his game and his relationship with his brother on the football field. Give it a listen if you have 7 minutes. That said, I can’t imagine how hard it is to take in praise and diffuse it immediately like Tua does. It’s always immediately deflected to how he thinks he can improve.
He also got brought on to the Dan Patrick show, where he gave an even longer 13 minute interview, where the highlight is when he talks about his thoughts about transferring as a freshman. He said that he really wanted to please his parents and felt he couldn’t do that if he wasn’t playing. Thankfully, he decided to stick it out and keep working, and it wound up being noticed and moved him into a position to become a potential #1 overall draft pick.
That’s it for today. Roll Tide!