The Alabama football program will enter the 2018 campaign with two very capable quarterbacks.
Jalen Hurts, who led the Crimson Tide to back-to-back national championship appearances, is returning to Tuscaloosa along with Tua Tagaovailoa, who started the second half of this year’s national title game and helped Alabama earn a come-from-behind win.
With two star signal-callers, there was some belief that one of the two players could decide to transfer, but head coach Nick Saban doesn’t appear to believe that will be the case.
“The most important thing is to play the best guy, and if both guys can play winning football, it’s not out of the question that we’ll find a role for both guys in fairness to both guys,” Saban told ESPN’s Chris Low on Friday. “I don’t know that there’s any more to it than that.”
Saban also still thinks very highly of Hurts, despite benching him in the national title game.
“I told him, ‘We would have never gotten here without you, and even though it wasn’t your time (in the championship game) and we needed Tua to give us a spark, that should not be anything but a learning experience for you in terms of what you have to do to be a more consistent player in the future,’ ” Saban recalled of his conversation with Hurts after the game.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Saban ultimately goes back to Hurts to start the 2018 season or whether he decides to turn the team over the Tagovailoa, but it is clear the coach has confidence in either player.
And with the talent that is surrounding the quarterbacks and the experience both now have, it’s easy to understand why.