A-Day is the public’s first chance to really see how the team is shaping up, but it’s important to keep in mind that it’s still a scrimmage and that we shouldn’t draw too many conclusions from it. And we didn’t even have one this year to overreact to.
That said, there is at least one encouraging trend: the success of A-Day MVPs.
Let’s look at the A-Day MVPs going back to 2008 (after Saban had a whole year as coach):
2019 - John Metchie
2018 - Mac Jones
2017 - Jerry Jeudy
2016 - Damien Harris
2015 - ArDarius Stewart/Robert Foster
2012-14 - T.J. Yeldon
2011 - Trent Richardson
2010 - Mark Ingram
2009 - Marquis Maze/Greg McElroy
2008 - Terry Grant
Let’s leave Jones and Metchie for a second.
With the exceptions of Terry Grant and Robert Foster, every A-Day MVP has, at the least, had a good career.
Greg McElroy was the starting quarterback for two seasons, won a national championship, and established himself in the top 10 of numerous categories in school history. He was also drafted in the 7th round.
Marquis Maze was the #2 receiver behind Julio Jones for two seasons before leading the team in receiving yards as a senior; he also was a quality punt and kick returner for his final two seasons.
Mark Ingram is one of the best running backs in school history and was Alabama’s first Heisman winner. Of course, he was named A-Day MVP after he won the Heisman but still. He became a 1st round draft pick.
Trent Richardson had also established himself as a quality player before he won the A-Day MVP award; but he did go on to have an amazing 2011 campaign, arguably a better performance than when Ingram won the Heisman in 2009. Richardson, too, was drafted in the 1st round.
T.J. Yeldon was unproven when he won his (first) A-Day MVP, though. Yeldon had enrolled early and proceeded to rack up 179 all-purpose yards in the spring game with at least one touchdown. Yeldon won again in 2013 and again 2014. Yep, he was the A-Day MVP every year he was on campus. As for his career, Yeldon ranks #7 in all purpose yards, #5 in rushing yards, #5 in yards per carry (with a minimum of 400 attempts), and #4 in rushing touchdowns. He was 11 yards shy of being the only player in Alabama history to have back-to-back-to-back 1,000 yard rushing seasons (and he would’ve gotten it if not for injuries). He was selected early in the 2nd round.
ArDarius Stewart was a solid #2 receiver with Calvin Ridley in 2015 before leading the team in receiving yards in 2016. He left early for the draft and was selected in the 3rd round. The man also carried an ax on the sidelines. You go tell the man with an ax that he didn’t have a good career.
Robert Foster was off to a good start in 2015 after being named the co-MVP with Stewart. In two and a half games, he had 10 receptions for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns. Unfortunately, he suffered that horrific leg injury against Ole Miss that shut him down for the rest of the year; and he never really managed to break through the following two years.
Damien Harris emerged as a force after winning it in 2016. Like Yeldon, he came pretty close to three straight seasons with 1,000 yards rushing (124 yards short in 2018). He averaged a ridiculous 7.41 yards per carry in 2007, and his career 6.44 yards per carry is the highest in school history (with a minimum of 400 attempts). Harris wound up as a 3rd round pick.
Jerry Jeudy, like Yeldon, won the award as a true freshman. He flashed during 2017 and even ended up with the second-most receiving yards that year. Then Jeudy really blew up the following year, winning the Biletnikoff Award while averaging almost 20 yards per reception. Jeudy capped his career with another 1,000 yard season. He was drafted 15th overall this year.
All in all, that’s a pretty darn good track record, right?
Mac Jones, the 2018 winner, flashed this past season when he started in place of the injured Tua Tagovailoa. With Taulia Tagovailoa transferring and Bryce Young not having spring practice to try and make a move, Jones is the presumptive starter and should get the chance to get the trend going.
John Metchie, the 2019 winner, also has an opportunity. With both Jeudy and Henry Ruggs off to the NFL, someone will need to emerge as the #3 wide receiver. While Metchie only recorded 4 receptions for 25 yards last season, he did work his way onto the field in non-blowout situations.
Will Mac Jones and John Metchie have productive careers at Alabama?
This poll is closed
Just Mac Jones
Just John Metchie