Alabama is embroiled in one of college football's most significant quarterback competitions this offseason. As most would expect, the Crimson Tide are still a good ways off from naming a starter. At SEC Media Days, coach Nick Saban provided an update on where things stand just a few weeks out from fall camp. In short, expect the competition to rage on ahead of the 2023 season.
"We have three guys that are competing for that position right now," Saban said. "All those players are getting better and it's important for us that all those players get better. I don't think anybody has actually separated themselves yet to this point, and I don't think it's something that we're trying to rush ... All the players are working hard. They all have a good attitude. They're all competing well."
Redshirt freshman Ty Simpson and redshirt sophomore Jalen Milroe battled it out in the spring, culminating in a spring game in which neither looked overwhelmingly impressive. Shortly after, Alabama turned to the transfer portal and added former Notre Dame starter Tyler Buchner, reuniting him with first-year offensive coordinator Tommy Rees.
Buchner is not a runaway to win the starting job, though. Under Rees with the Fighting Irish last season, he threw for 378 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions in two regular-season starts before a shoulder injury sidelined him until the postseason. In Notre Dame's bowl game -- a 45-38 win over South Carolina in the Gator Bowl -- he had three passing touchdowns and three interceptions.
In fact, turnovers are an issue for all three of Alabama's prospective starting quarterbacks. Milroe had two touchdowns in the spring game, but he also had two interceptions and just barely completed 50% of his passes. Simpson connected on just 12 of his 26 attempts and had one interception.
Whoever wins the job will be tasked with returning Alabama to the College Football Playoff after it missed out last season for the first time in two years. The Crimson Tide also have to replace a former Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick in Bryce Young.