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Alabama 2021 Spring Football Preview: Quarterback Reboot

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Crimson Tide had a string of Jalen-Tua-Mac. Can they stay on a roll at QB?

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Ohio State vs Alabama
Can Bryce Young take the Tide back to the Playoffs?
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After winning a national championship with a one year starter, the Crimson Tide has to replace their starting quarterback. The top candidate to start is a former 5-star sophomore from California. He is followed by a veteran who has limited playing time. And then there is the true freshman, Jalen, from Texas. But that was 2016.

Come to think of it, that is 2021 too. However, it is unlikely that this year’s California kid will peace out in the middle of the season.

Alabama once again will be working with a new Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach. Bill O’Brien brings a wealth of experience from half a decade under Bill Belichick in New England followed by head coaching jobs at Penn State (2012-13) and the Houston Texans (2014-20). Before those gigs, he assisted at Georgia Tech, Maryland and Duke among others.

DEPARTED

Is it dusty in here?
(C) Gawrifort via DeviantArt
  • Mac Jones - I... I can’t...

RETURNING

Alabama has two intriguing prospects returning at field general, but they have very limited game time. This duo could not be any different from each other. One is dual threat from the west coast who is around 6 feet tall. The other is a 6-5 local boy who is a pro-style.

  • Bryce Young 6-1*/194, Pasadena, CA (True Soph.) - The former 5-star stepped on the field of play in nine games in 2020, often times surrounded by second teamers. He was 13 of 22 passing for 156 yards and recorded one touchdown. He was sacked six times which gave him negative yards in the rushing category. He had some flashes of brilliance but most of the time it seemed he was running for his life.
  • Paul Tyson 6-5/228, Trussville, AL (RS-Soph.) - It seems like forever that we have been hearing about the great grandson of Paul W. “Bear” Bryant. He took a couple of snaps, magnificently and successfully handing the ball off against Western Carolina in 2019 but that is it on game time for him. Without access to practices, it is near impossible to know how adept he is and how far he has progressed.

NEWBIE

  • Jalen Milroe 6-2/201, Katy, TX (True Fr.) - This kid is really talented but a bit raw. He may need some time to acclimate but - seriously - don’t count him out for major snaps in 2021.

WALK-ONS

  • Braxton Barker 6-1/202 R-Jr. Birmingham, Al - son of Jay Barker.
  • Jayden George 6-3/192 R-So. Indianapolis, IN - son of Jeff George.
  • Stone Hollenbach 6-3/208 R-So. Catawissa, PA - son of a gun.

FROM THE GOAT’S MOUTH

“We have three quarterbacks in the program. Bryce is probably a little ahead of everybody else because he got a lot of reps last year. Even though he didn’t get to play that much, he got a lot of reps in practice, a lot of good carryover for him. I think he’s very confident and he’s done a really good job of preparing so far. The other two guys, they’re working and making improvement. So we’re just really focused on improvement, not really the outcome. Certainly, what do we have to do with all these players to get the outcome we want. And it’s going to be a work in progress, no doubt. But that’s why we’re practicing.” Nick Saban 3/24/21

PREDICTED DEPTH CHART

For A-Day, it would be very surprising if Young did not head up Team 1 and Tyson and Milroe led Team 2. All of these field generals need the reps but Young will likely get most of the opportunities.

  1. California Kid
  2. GG-Son
  3. New Kid
  4. Sara Evans’s step-son

Poll

Will 2021 be a step back at QB or will Bama stay on a Roll (Tide)?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    Step back.
    (210 votes)
  • 46%
    Keep on Rolling (Tide).
    (505 votes)
  • 33%
    Too soon to tell.
    (362 votes)
1077 votes total Vote Now