The 2020 Alabama Football team will have one of the strongest quarterback rooms in the country, so who takes over as signal caller for the Tide?
With Tua Tagovailoa being drafted as the fifth overall pick to the Miami Dolphins this week, the Alabama Football team will have a new go-to guy under center next year. Nick Saban and Steve Sarkisian will have no shortage of talent to choose from next season for the Tide’s QB1.
Mac Jones – 6’2, 212 lbs
Junior Mac Jones, who took over for Tua last season during his injury, had a strong showing. He finished his 2019 sophomore season with a roughly 70% completion rate, 14 touchdowns, and three interceptions. He progressed as the season went on, and his role within the offense became more prominent. His best game came against Auburn when he totaled 335 yards and four touchdowns, despite two untimely interceptions.
Jones is the likely the expected starter next season. He has the most experience out of any of the guys competing for the job. He did a great job in Tua’s absence and seemed to be a natural leader on the field with his teammates.
Jones also seems to be taking to heart the competition he has for the starting job. During this offseason, Jones has put on seven pounds of muscle and has reportedly worked out with NFL quarterback Josh Dobbs and Nathan Peterman and studied film from Joe Burrow.
Prior to training being shut down as a result of COVID-19, Mac Jones was taking competition at the athletic complex to the next level, sporting a bloody nose in one reporter picture.
Jones might not have had as many stars next to his name during the recruiting process, but Mac Jones is a competitor. He certainly won’t lose the starting job without a fight.
Bryce Young – 6’0, 190 lbs
The highest touted recruit Nick Saban has ever brought in for the Alabama Football team, Bryce Young will likely be Mac Jones’ most serious competition. Despite not having any game time experience, Young was able to graduate high school and enroll early with the Tide. Although Spring practice was cancelled, Young was at least able to get in with the program and benefit from the shared workouts and meal plans.
Young is a five-star dual-threat quarterback out of Mater Dei High School in California. Young earned offensive MVP honors after competing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the end of his high school career. Some recruiting ranks had Young as the number one overall recruit in the entire 2019 class.
In his last year in high school, he led his team to a state Championship and accounted for over 4500 passing yards, 350+ rushing yards, 68 touchdowns, and only six interceptions over the course of the season.
In his last regular season game, Young went 17 for 17 throwing for 373 yards and five touchdowns… in the first half.
While Mac Jones has the edge in game time experience, Young has all the firepower. Young has the ceiling to be the gunslinger Tua was and could be out to rewrite all the Alabama Football record books with his name instead.
Taulia Tagovailoa – 5’11, 208 lbs
Despite the name and legacy of his brother, Taulia now seems to be in third place in the 2020 Alabama Football quarterback competition. Taulia was a strong 4-star recruit out of Thompson High School in Alabama, but unfortunately for him, the timing of his arrival in Tuscaloosa did not bode well for him.
He enters his sophomore season in 2020 after sitting behind his brother and Mac Jones for his freshman season. It seems the coaching staff has already deemed Mac Jones’ experience more valuable than any potential advantage Taulia could have talent-wise. As a result, it does not seem likely Taulia will get the start.
In his five games of action in his freshman year, he totaled 100 passing yards completing nine out of his twelve passes. The best outcome for Taulia would have been to redshirt his freshman year to give him an extra year of eligibility after Mac Jones leaves, but Saban and the coaching staff decided against that putting him in one too many games to still be eligible.
Those who have seen both Taulia and Tua play extensively say Taulia is more reserved and cautious than Tua is in his play, but it’s unlikely Tide fans will ever get to really see that first-hand. Taulia now has the competition of Bryce Young right behind him.
Some have suggested that Taulia might transfer believing that perhaps the whole Tagovailoa family would move to Florida to be with Tua. Taulia and the Tagovailoa family are likely debating between their strong family ties and a premier college football program.
Given the extra layer of not having spring practice to compete due to COVID-19, the 2020 Alabama Football quarterback position is Mac Jones’ to lose. Bryce Young will get a lot of meaningful playing time throughout the season in preparation to be the Tide’s go-to guy in 2021. As for Taulia, it would probably be in the best interest of his football career to transfer to a top-tier school where he could start outright.
The competition should drive Mac Jones to continue to improve, and the Tide should be looking at another productive offensive year in 2020 with a slew of weapons on the field.