No matter how soon Nick Saban decides on his starting quarterback, he won’t make an official call until the last possible moment. That’s how Greg McElroy sees it, anyway.
McElroy, who won a national championship at Alabama in 2009 and currently works as an SEC Network analyst, spoke with SEC Country this week about the Crimson Tide quarterback battle. He said Saban will purposely withhold his eventual decision from the team because he won’t want the loser — either Jalen Hurts or Tua Tagovailoa — to transfer out of the program.
“They’ll probably drag it out as long as humanly possible,” McElroy said.
Getting there will be a meticulous process. McElroy described the painstaking detail that goes into the decision.
“Every single throw in practice is charted,” he said. “Every single one. From warmups to routes on air, to 7-on-7, to 1-on-1s to team drills. They’re all charted. And it’s all about efficiencies. So, whoever’s the most efficient player, makes the right decisions when to go where and do so accurately, that’s the guy who will win the competition.”
Even if Saban and his staff do not make a decision until the season opener, McElroy noted that the Alabama roster won’t exactly be in the dark.
“It’s usually pretty obvious to the players,” McElroy said. “I know to the media and people that aren’t allowed behind closed doors, we’re all speculating the whole time. But usually you have a pretty good grasp of who is going to be the quarterback if you’re in the locker room, if you’re at practice every day. The players know who is the most capable and this competition will probably be no different.”
Hurts is a rising junior who has started 28 consecutive games. Tagovailoa is a rising sophomore who took over for his ineffective counterpart in the National Championship Game and proceeded to throw for 3 touchdowns — including the instantly legendary game-winning toss — after halftime.
The Hawaiian southpaw suffered a high-profile thumb injury on Tuesday but was already back on the field Thursday.
Considered by many to be a better passer than Hurts, Tagovailoa is the odds-on favorite to win the job … however long it takes Saban to make the call.
“He’s extremely well-liked in the locker room,” McElroy said. “The guys really respond to his leadership style. He’s extremely friendly. And a very humble young man, too. So, the guys naturally gravitate to him and they know he can play.”
The post Greg McElroy: Alabama will draw out QB battle ‘as long as humanly possible’ appeared first on SEC Country.
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