Alabama Football: Why Tide fans are so excited by Bryce Young

102420 Ut Bama Gameaction
102420 Ut Bama Gameaction /

Nick Saban has shown it doesn’t take a 5-Star recruit quarterback to win an Alabama Football National Championship. In fact, Saban’s first 5-Star, regular QB starter, Tua Tagovailoa only won a National Championship as a backup.

Saban’s other Alabama Football National Championship, starting quarterbacks were mostly 3-Star recruits. Based on the 247Sports Composite, Greg McElroy was not only a 3-Star, he was only the No. 348 rated recruit in the 2006 class. Another 3-Star, Jake Coker was the No. 511 player in the 2010 class. Statistically, the most productive Alabama Football QB ever, Mac Jones was a 3-Star, No. 399 player on the 2017 class.

A.J. McCarron and Jalen Hurts were 4-Star recruits. So was Blake Sims, the only Saban-recruited Crimson Tide starting QB to not win a National Championship. Unlike the others, the rating groups categorized Sims as an athlete rather than a QB and his first position in Tuscaloosa was running back. After a redshirt season, Blake played running back for a season before becoming a backup quarterback. Sims was ranked No. 305 overall in the 2010 class.

John Parker Wilson was a QB starter for Saban. JPW was part of the Tide’s 2005 class, as a 3-Star and was No. 487 overall in the class. In the pre-Saban era of player recruitment, landing 5-Star recruits was a rarity. An interesting thought held by some Crimson Tide fans is, had Mike Shula signed 5-Star Tim Tebow in 2006, Nick Saban might have never become the Tide’s coach.

There are two reasons for the optimism Crimson Tide fans share about Bryce Young. One is the history explained above. Nick Saban has shown his teams can win National Championships with 3-Star and 4-Star quarterbacks. That has happened often enough to overide the fact that the 5-Star, Tua never won a Natty as a Tide starter. If the Tide can win with somewhat less talent, it can certainly win with more.

Much is expected from the new Alabama Football starter

An even stronger argument for enthusiasm is Bryce is Saban’s highest-rated QB starter. As a 5-Star, Tua was the No. 1 rated dual-threat QB, while being the No. 32 player overall. Still below Bryce Young, but more highly rated as a recruit was Blake Barnett in the 2015 class. Barnett was the No. 2 rated pro-style QB and the No. 22 player overall.

Barnett was a bust. Tua was far from that, even when not quite matching the high expectations he and many others set for him.

Like Tua, Bryce Young’s pre-Tuscaloosa rep carries with it National Championship expectations. He had little chance to show much in limited play last season. With a college football resume of attempting 22 passes and completing 13, Bryce Young is now expected to lead Alabama Football to a repeat National Championship.

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What is asked of Young is part and parcel of being an Alabama Football starting QB. Is it fair? Is it realistic? It may or may not be both. Like the rest of the Crimson Tide nation, Bama Hammer likes his chances.