Everyone that’s in contention for the starting Alabama quarterback job is “on equal footing” according to TideIllustrated’s James Benedetto. Only two quarterbacks in the running, Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson, have any experience in the race. Milroe is the only Crimson Tide QB with any starting experience.
The scales are in no one’s favor because the offense will be overhauled under first-year offensive coordinator Tommy Rees. Rees’ offense is expected to be run-heavy but will require someone capable of setting up the run with a proficient vertical passing game.
“With a new offensive being implemented this offseason, the Martin, Tennessee native (Simpson) is on equal footing to last season’s backup (Jalen Milroe),” Benedetto wrote in a piece looking at five redshirt freshmen who are poised for a breakout season.
Among the players listed was Simpson at quarterback, offensive lineman Elijah Pritchett, cornerback Earl Little, wide receiver Shazz Preston, and linebacker and Thompson High School product Jeremiah Alexander.
Ty Simpson Predicted to Win Alabama Quarterback Battle
Simpson’s write-up in Benedetto’s piece featured a prediction from the TideIllustrated writer that the redshirt freshman signal-caller would be the winner of the Alabama quarterback battle by the time the 2023 season rolls around.
“While Milroe played in more games last year if Simpson is able to pick up Tommy Rees’ offense, don’t be surprised to see No. 15 line up under center when Alabama hosts Middle Tennessee on Sept. 2,” Benedetto wrote.
Benedetto reeled off Simpson’s high school accolades in making the case for the Westview product.
“The former four-star quarterback tallied just 35 passing yards in four games played with Alabama but in high school, he showed off his accuracy and his running ability for Westview,” Benedetto wrote. “He was named Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year thanks to 2,827 passing yards and 41 touchdowns while rushing for 862 yards and 11 scores on 92 carries.”
Texas Governor Took Shot at Jalen Milroe
Milroe was insulted by Texas governor Greg Abbott at a business luncheon in Dallas on March 9, being referred to as someone who doesn’t stack up to his predecessor, potential No. 1 NFL draft pick Bryce Young — this all before predicting a Texas upset on September 9 in Tuscaloosa when the Longhorns and Crimson Tide clash.
“I have seen what appears to be Alabama’s starting quarterback, and he’s no Bryce Young,” Abbott said per The Statesman’s Ryan Autullo. “I’m gonna say it’s gonna be 27-21, Texas Longhorns.”
Abbott used sound football logic in forecasting his pick, at least. “Texas has more returning starters than Alabama does,” Abbott said. “The quarterback that was literally running all over Alabama, Quinn Ewers, was injured early in the game. And he’ll be starting again, doing a great job. If he gets hurt, he’s got a pretty good backup in Manning.”
As Abbott recalled, the first clash on September 10 was nearly a loss for Alabama. “Texas was ahead until, like, the last 15 seconds of the game,” Abbott said. “And Texas would have won it had it not been for what was then the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Bryce Young, being able to evade a tackle that would have led to a sack that would have prevented Alabama from getting within field goal range to win the game. That’s how close the game was.”