The Alabama Crimson Tide have their quarterback situation figured out for at least the next two years, committing to Jalen Hurts. However, this decision still doesn’t sit right with two former Alabama quarterbacks, and they’ve been very vocal about their opinions on the matter.
Blake Barnett and Cooper Bateman, who both left the Crimson Tide during the 2016 season, have expressed their displeasure at “miscommunication” about the starting quarterback position ahead of their season opener against the Southern Cal Trojans.
According to Barnett, the Alabama coaching staff told him that he had won the job and would start against USC. Bateman was under the impression that he would share quarterback duties with Barnett in that opener.
As it turned out, Hurts entered the game midway through the first quarter, and never looked back. Alabama won the game 52-6, and Hurts was the starter the rest of the way.
In an interview with ESPN.com, head coach Nick Saban said that he tries to communicate how every player, especially quarterbacks, will fit into his plan.
“We try to give everybody a fair chance, you know, to win the position. I feel like it’s my job to do a good job of making the best choice and decision for our team. And one of the most difficult things is sometimes that’s not what everybody else would like for it to be. You can’t make everybody happy. Everybody wants to play. I have a tremendous amount of respect for those guys as competitors.”
Each party has expressed respect for one another, but there is still a sense of frustration at how the situation unfolded.
Barnett has since transferred to Arizona State, while Bateman went to Utah.
No matter how anyone feels about the decision, it’s hard to argue that it was the right one. With Hurts at the controls, Alabama went 14-1, won the SEC Championship, and finished within seconds of winning national championship.
Bobby Dyer is a Sports Writer at End Zone Score. Follow him on Twitter (@TheOnlyAUDyer).
All stats courtesy of sports-reference.com.