Alabama’s quarterback position has been a glamour job for a demi-decade now.
The competition in Tuscaloosa is always high grade and never clear cut with so many future pros jostling for that top spot.
The way that Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts and Mac Jones competed for the right to lead college football’s premier program out of the tunnel on Saturday was akin to blood sport.
An inseparable bond of friendship was their only saving grace. It kept the competition lively but respectable.
Bryce Young Has It Locked
For the first time in years, there was no competition for the starting quarterback job entering the season.
Former Mater Dei star Bryce Young leads the Crimson Tide’s offense as the team aims to give Nick Saban his record-breaking eighth National Championship.
Another title would also give Saban seven in Tuscaloosa, which would break a record he holds with icon Bear Bryant.
Young has been the clear leader since Spring camp, unlike his predecessors Jones, Tua and Hurts, who all faced some form of competition the year they took the reigns.
How weird would it have been if a quarterback who secured about $1M in NIL deals before he ever threw a pass in a college game didn’t even start?
Fortunately, Saban doesn’t have that problem because there’s no one on the depth chart that’s bringing it like Bryce.
The boy wonder set records for an Alabama debut throwing for over 300 yards and four scores in an opening game thrashing of No. 14 Miami.
Young is set to achieve some lofty goals and plans to follow in the footsteps of these guys, who are now all NFL starting quarterbacks.
While at BAMA each led their respective teams to the College Football Playoffs.
Hurts did it twice, once with the Crimson Tide and once with the Oklahoma Sooners. Each were also Heisman Trophy finalists.
The neophyte from Pasadena California looks poised to be Alabama’s next great signal caller.
It’s no stretch of the imagination to say Young is one of Saban’s most celebrated signings on the recruiting trail.
He’s only the fourth five-star quarterback to sign with Saban, and he’s the highest-ranked among them (Phillip Sims, Blake Barnett and Tua Tagovailoa).
Young was the No.1 ranked quarterback regardless of style and the No.2 overall player in the 2020 recruiting class.
More Than An Athlete
Young is known as a dual-threat, but doesn’t want to be put into a box.
Here’s how he described himself in a 2019 interview with USA Today High School Sports:
“The NFL folks, like Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield, players like are really pushing the boundaries of what dual-threat means.
People think a dual-threat is someone who can run and throw a little bit … but really a dual-threat should mean, someone who has the ability to do both at a high-level, while extending plays and running the ball, but still being an accurate passer.”
Young is also no stranger to facing elite competition on the gridiron. His experience in those environments should benefit the program.
He faced-off against nationally-ranked teams like Centennial (Arizona), and St. Frances (Baltimore MD) in high school.
He also took home the MVP of the 2020 Army All-American Bowl.
Young’s best known opponent at Mater Dei was Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, who himself is now the full-time starter for the Tigers following the departure of 2021 No.1 overall draft pick Trevor Lawrence.
Young and Uiagalelei faced-off in the 2019 California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Division I Championship game.
The Clemson recruit lead St. John Bosco to a dramatic 39-34 win over BY9 and Mater Dei, after trailing 28-5.
Despite all the hype surrounding Young in Alabama, he’s handled it very well.
He’s aware of the huge expectations in Tuscaloosa. If his first game is any indication, he will meet the company standards and probably exceed them.