Alabama Football: Adding Tyler Buchner was not a why but a why not

Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports
Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports /

For months an unanswered question about Alabama Football has swirled. It is why would Nick Saban, who is no fan of rotating quarterbacks, decide to have five scholarship quarterbacks on the Crimson Tide roster.

It is possible few people beyond Nick Saban and Tommy Rees know the answer.

The most common speculation has been that Saban did not have sufficient confidence in any of the three potential quarterback backups, to play at a championship level in the 2023 season. Given there is a range of unknowns with each of the three, and Jalen Milroe as well, the presumption is logical.

Taking that logic to a next step is an assumption Tyler Buchner would be in contention for QB1. No doubt, Buchner was honestly told he could compete to earn the starting job. That does not mean Saban and Rees ‘expected’ Buchner could earn the QB1 role.

Tommy Rees and Tyler Buchner knew what to expect from each other. Buchner was going to watch a lot of football in South Bend during the 2023 season. That statement is not intended to diminish his skills. Rather, it was clear when the Fighting Irish added Sam Hartman, that he would be ‘their guy’ barring injury.

Tyler Buchner needed a new football home and there are good reasons for him to have reached out to Tommy Rees. Perhaps even more important than an existing relationship with Rees was an opportunity to benefit from Nick Saban’s system of player development. Few people saw Mac Jones as an NFL QB starter until he blossomed in the 2020 season. Mac benefitted from his development in Tuscaloosa and from his patience.

Having played only two seasons in South Bend, Tyler Buchner could also afford to be patient. In his second Notre Dame season, an injury kept him out of all but three games. Buchner has plenty of eligibility left.

None of us know what Tommy Rees told Buchner or what Nick Saban told Buchner through Rees, but we can safely assume Buchner was given zero guarantees about playing time. Other programs operate that way, but not the Crimson Tide.

Alabama Football and Coaching Careers

An added incentive for Buchner making the move to Tuscaloosa could be it being a resume-building experience for a future coaching career.

A few college football insiders suggest adding Buchner was a smart insurance policy for Nick Saban. When Nick Saban names a QB1, other programs will be chasing Alabama football quarterbacks, and Buchner, as a recent incoming transfer would be unlikely to be interested. Any or all the others could officially enter the Portal before the end of the 2023 season.

Next. Misconception about Tommy Rees' offense. dark

The bottom line is not why Alabama added Tyler Buchner, but why not?