One of the biggest positions in college football is obviously going to be the quarterback position. After losing several players to the transfer portal, Coach Nick Saban to retirement, other coaches to other programs, we're here to discuss where Alabama stands not only after those mentioned moves, but after losing a 5-star Plus QB signee.
1.) Jalen Milroe- After finishing 6th overall in the Heisman Trophy voting, quarterback Jalen Milroe returning to Alabama is a massive snag. Milroe finished the 2023 season having thrown for 2,834 yards, 23 touchdowns, and only 6 interceptions. He turned in a QB rating of 80.5, which was good enough for 13th in the nation. Not only that, Milroe was a massive rushing threat, while successfully scoring 12 more touchdowns on the ground. With last season's offensive coordinator, Tommy Rees, heading to the Cleveland Browns as their new TE coach, look for Milroe to have another star season under Bama's new OC Ryan Grubb. Grubb was able to lead potential first-round QB Michael Penix and Washington to the College Football Playoff.
2.) Ty Simpson- Simpson is certainly of the more pleasant surprises for the Crimson Tide, as several expected him to enter the transfer portal. The bigger surprise could come in the spring to see if the redshirt sophomore will push Jalen Milroe for playing time. Yes, we understand that Simpson finished with only 179 passing yards last season in a year full of quarterback drama, but he would not have stuck around if he didn't think he had a chance this fall. At 6'2, 203 lb, Simpson has great accuracy, solid timing, and can even take off and run when needed. He is looked at by most programs as a Power-5 starter and could certainly start at the majority of colleges in America. It's one thing to have a solid returning QB for a top program, but two just adds more flavor for the new offensive coordinator and guru, Ryan Grubb.
3.) Dylan Lonergan- We've now arrived at the third QB on the projected depth chart and, frankly, the talent level hasn't dropped off much. Lonergan came out of high school as one of the more underrated quarterbacks in his class, and many Alabama coaches were high on him last year as just a true freshman. Dylan holds the size, arm talent, and decision-making that coaches salivate over. However, as a true freshman, it's tough to prove your worth at any position, let alone quarterback. Former Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban was asked about Lonergan last season and said the biggest thing Lonergan lacked at the time was experience. Alabama fans should be excited about the potential of Lonergan and the new offense to come.
Austin Mack- Mack represents one of the more unique decisions transferring in, but his skill set, size, and potential are off the charts per previous coaches. Originally a member of the 2024 recruiting class, Austin Mack was rated one of the best quarterbacks in the country. He re-classified late to the 2023 class, but was widely considered one of the top QBs regardless of class. After Alabama landed Washington coaches Kalen DeBoer and Ryan Grubb, Mack made the decision to go somewhere familiar--hence the new Crimson Tide logo on his chest. Mack is rather sizeable at 6'6 and 226 lbs, comparable to several NFL quartberacks. If Mack wants to make a case for solid playing time, he will have to do it soon and do it well.
Tyler Buchner-Notre Dame (Lacrosse)
Julian Sayin-Ohio State
The biggest surprise of the three is easily freshman Julian Sayin. Once Nick Saban retired and Austin Mack transferred in, Sayin and his family decided to enter the portal, eventually landing at Ohio State. Eli Holstein was not due to see the field anytime soon, but saw a chance to progress at Pittsburgh. Last, but certainly not least, we saw week three starter Tyler Buchner enter the transfer portal, but as a lacrosse player. While interesting, sometimes it's better to give football a rest and do something you may be more passionate about.
All in all, Alabama is in a great position when it comes to returning talent and incoming talent, and that includes the new coaches. Like most Alabama fans, we're all intrigued to see what happens from now until Week 1.
Note: All player stats come via ESPN.com