Alabama Football: How ’23 QB recruiting can be expected to play out

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports /

A few weeks ago, in an update on the Alabama Football pursuit of a 2023 quarterback, Nick Saban’s patience was mentioned. Never one to get into a rush in closing a player, Saban then and Saban now appears to be in no hurry to grab a commit from a top QB.

That does not mean that Nick Saban would turn down a commitment from 5-Star, Arch Manning, or 4-Star, Eli Holstein. In fact the Tide’s head man would accept commitments from both, though that will never happen. Two top gunslingers will not choose to the same school.

Some fans have thought Saban might be slow-playing Holstein, preferring to land Manning. Saban may prefer Manning, but according to Alabama football insiders, Saban and Bill O’Brien are sold on Holstein’s potential to become an elite college quarterback. Holstein is believed to have a green light to commit as soon as he is ready.

Like Saban, neither of the young men appears to be in a hurry. Their decision timeframes might continue until late summer. With Holstein visiting Tuscaloosa three times this spring, including for the A-Day game, some Tide fans hoped a decision was imminent. So far, all is quiet.

It is impossible to get inside the minds of these young men. We are mostly left to rely on the recruiting actions of former elite QB recruits. While Manning and Holstein would not be keen to compete with each other, competing with current, college QBs, not in starting roles, is unlikely to be a deterrent.

On Saturday afternoon, Holstein got a good look at who could become his Crimson Tide competition. What he saw from Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson must have impressed him.

In the A-Day game, Milroe was the most productive and effective QB. His QB rating was higher than the one by Bryce Young. Unlike Young, Milroe did his work against the Tide’s second-unit defense. Milroe stood out enough to indicate he might have also done good work against the Tide’s first-unit defense. His A-Day numbers were 11-for-23, for 149 yards, with one touchdown toss and one interception. He also ran eight times for 32 yards. The touchdown toss was a perfectly accurate 52-yard strike to Christian Leary.

Milroe needs game experience other than mop-up duties, but on Saturday he looked like a potentially championship-quality QB. That might be true as soon as the 2022 season if an injury were to make him the starter.

Freshman, Ty Simpson also looked good in the A-Day game. Like Milroe, Simpson is a true dual-threat QB, able to move the ball with his legs and his arm. He completed five passes in 12 attempts and added 18 rushing yards. All three Tide QBs had their completion percentages diminished by dropped passes.

Note: A-Day stats from

Alabama Football’s biggest 2023 need is not at QB

Alabama will land a quarterback in every signing class. It would be great to get Eli Holstein or Arch Manning, but the Crimson Tide will be fine without signing either one. Barring injury or transfer, the Tide already has guys it can win championships with, during the next three or four seasons. Because of that, the Crimson Tide will be fine with whomever it signs at QB in the ’23 class.

dark. Next. Takeaways from A-Day game

Following the A-Day game, a few fans were talking up a fast-rising becoming QB during the ’22 season. The fans that might relish a little QB controversy will be disappointed. Jalen Milroe is solidly entrenched as the Crimson Tide’s No. 2 Quarterback.