Alabama Football: Jalen and Tua prepare to lead without controversy

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa /

Alabama football is never far from a Quarterback controversy. Tua and Jalen are looking to change that pattern.

In Tuscaloosa, national championship winning QB’s are deified. Those who come up short are failed mortals. The perspective of most Alabama football fans is shaped by an intolerance for any degree of failure. New unproven players with blue-chip high school pedigrees are elevated to star status before accomplishing anything.

Fan fervor breeds controversy. Sometimes, the attitudes of players and their families are the initial source of discontent. In worst cases, factions divide and dissipate the greater goals of the team.

Perhaps only the coaches are not heavily emotionally involved. Going back to the Baby Boomers, every American generation has been accused of being overly focused on ‘me.’ Right now, in Tuscaloosa, it appears there are two young men more focused on ‘we’ and ‘us’ than on themselves. It is refreshing. Perhaps it is also fragile.

Two Exceptional Role Models

In Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama football has two exemplary role models. Much credit should be given to their families. Jalen and Tua arrived in Tuscaloosa as teenagers by age but with a maturity far surpassing their years. They have been able to compete against each other while also being supportive of each other.

After being pulled in the national championship game, Jalen did nothing but root for Tua. Chris Palmer described Jalen’s actions well in the tweet below.

A few days after the game, still awash in the appreciative joy of the Tide nation, Tua spoke out.

Beyond rooting for these two exceptional young men, Alabama football fans can learn from them as well. It is easy to become hypercritical and insensitive in public statements about college athletes. It is also unfair. In a top program like Alabama football, it is rare for a young man to fall short from lack of effort. While we fans almost deify the stars, we also quickly denigrate failures in achievement. Something in a fan’s psyche urges an entitlement to judge players and coaches. We don’t always exercise that judgment maturely.

Both young men look to lead going forward

Alabama football will have a quarterback battle, this spring, summer and perhaps into the fall. Most likely one QB will win most of the 2018 snaps. It will be fair to call that QB  a winner, but less than fair to call the other QB, the loser.

Nick Saban may decide to go against his history and run a two-QB system in 2018. That might work, but it could just as easily fail. The greater probability is that either Jalen or Tua will, after becoming No.2, choose to transfer. From a perspective outside the team, it appears a Tua transfer would be devastating for Alabama football. But that does not mean fans should root for Jalen to be No.2 in 2018.

What we should do is pull for both of the young men and fully support Nick Saban’s eventual decision of what is best for Alabama football. It could end up being the hardest coaching decision of Saban’s career.

Next: Crimson Tide Top 10 Quarterbacks of All-Time

Might Jalen Hurts move to another position? He is a gifted athlete but moving to running back or wide receiver would still have tough competition for a starting role.