For the first time in two years, the Alabama Crimson Tide enter the off-season with questions at quarterback. Head coach Nick Saban loses the most talented passer in program history in Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young, who declared early for the 2023 NFL Draft. To make matters more difficult for Saban, he will have to find a new quarterback with a new offensive coordinator in Tommy Rees. The process to establish that starting quarterback will take time. Alabama fans may not have the answer on the starting quarterback until week one of the 2023 season when the Tide opens the season at home against Middle Tennessee State. Regardless, the competition for the top quarterback position has already started and three players have emerged. These three players are among the top options for Alabama when spring practices open on March 11.
Who Are the 2023 Competitors at Quarterback for Alabama?
Jalen Milroe – the most experienced
Of the quarterbacks returning to the team in 2023, Jalen Milroe is the most experienced. He has backed up Young in his two years at Alabama. He even has starting experience this past season in the 24-20 win over Texas A&M when Young was out with a hurt shoulder. In the game against Texas A&M, Milroe was a good, but not a great passer. Milroe completed 12-of-19 of his passes for 111 yards, three touchdowns, one interception, and a QBR of 60.8. The saving grace of the offense was his dual-threat playmaking as he rushed for 81 yards on 17 carries. He did fumble the ball twice, but the opposing defense did not regain possession.
Milroe has solid game experience while backing up Young and has firmly taken control of the offense when on the field. As a passer, he is underwhelming in terms of accuracy and arm strength. There are also areas in his quarterback mechanics and pocket presence that could be defined more. There are great opportunities for Milroe to grow as a passer as he will be approaching the 2023 season as a redshirt sophomore. Milroe can grow as a player this spring into the season as Rees has developed dual-threat quarterback-friendly offenses at Notre Dame. Milroe might be Rees’ best running quarterback yet as an offensive coordinator.
Ty Simpson – the quarterback with the biggest upside
One option that Tide Nation is pushing hard for is Ty Simpson. He was a former five-star prospect and the third-rated quarterback in the 2022 recruiting class, according to 247Sports. Simpson is a highly athletic quarterback with a powerful arm. He possesses the ability to read his receiver’s routes and defensive backs’ coverage schemes, the ability to roll out and throw on the run, escape pressure in the pocket and throw into tight windows. In four games this past season at Alabama, Simpson has completed 4-of-5 of his passes for 35 yards. With the established route-runners that Alabama currently possesses at wide receiver, having an accurate and playbook-established quarterback like Simpson would instantly be beneficial to the Tide offense. As of this spring, Simpson is the quarterback with the most upside for Alabama. The question is whether Simpson is ready to pass an experienced quarterback in Milroe.
Eli Holstein – the most physically gifted quarterback
If there is another quarterback to challenge Milroe and Simpson, it would be true freshman Eli Holstein. At 6-4; 237 pounds, he is the biggest-sized quarterback on the roster. Holstein uses his size as a dual-threat runner to account for the extra yards after contact. He is not afraid to use his physicality. As a passer, he can throw the ball deep down the field with some accuracy. Out of all quarterbacks in the running, he can throw the ball down the field the furthest. He also possesses solid pocket awareness to escape the pressure from the defense and throw on the run.
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