Despite a quickly approaching opening weekend matchup against Wisconsin, Nick Saban has yet to name a front-runner for the Alabama Starting QB job.
(C+P) — With Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide already in fall camp, one of the big questions yet to be answered is who will quarterback the perennial national championship contender. Saban and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin have a wealth of talent to work with but have yet to name an Alabama starting QB.
The two coaches seem to be leaning toward senior Jake Coker or redshirt freshman David Cornwell. Coker transferred to Alabama before last season and was projected to take over but was beaten out by Blake Sims. Others on display during preseason training camp include redshirt sophomore Cooper Bateman, redshirt junior Alec Morris, and highly touted true freshman Blake Barnett.
It is likely that Saban will not turn the reins of the offense over to a freshman, so Barnett will likely redshirt and become the quarterback of the future. Morris and Bateman, a former four-star recruit coming out of high school, do not have much experience and are likely backups. That leaves Coker, who many thought would be the starter last season, and Cornwell.
Cornwell, at 6-5, 221 pounds, has the kind of arm strength that makes coaches drool. The former four-star recruit enrolled early last year and has all the tools needed to run the Crimson Tide pro-style offense. This is the first full camp for Cornwell, who came to Tuscaloosa fresh off a knee injury in high school. He also had ankle surgery which limited his time last spring and during training camp in 2014.
Whoever ends up taking the snaps at quarterback, they will be blessed with two very good running backs. Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake return to the Tide’s strong running game. The receiving corps lost last year’s No. 1 receiver in the nation Amari Cooper but gains do-it-all freshman Calvin Ridley plus a solid nucleus from last season.
One thing is certain. Saban will make sure that whoever it is that ends up taking the snaps at quarterback will minimize the number of mistakes made by the offense. The new Tide QB will not necessarily have to win games, but he must have the ability to not mess things up. The QB will need to be ready early. Alabama faces Wisconsin on Sept. 5 at Arlington Stadium in Texas.