Lane Kiffin thinks Alabama will once again give playing time to a true freshman quarterback in 2017.
In an interview with Ryan Fowler on Tide 102.9 FM on Tuesday, Kiffin was asked if former 5-star quarterback recruit Tua Tagovailoa would see playing time this season alongside returning starter Jalen Hurts.
“I would sure think so,” the former Crimson Tide offensive coordinator said. “I mean you guys saw him at spring game. He’s a special talent. And coach [Nick] Saban will figure out the best way to do it obviously, whether they both play.”
Kiffin didn’t say Tagovailoa would be the starter. That job still belongs to Hurts, who earned SEC Offensive Player of the Year honors last season and led the Tide to a 14-1 record as a true freshman.
But Kiffin thinks Tagovailoa is “a lot more trained” coming out of high school than Hurts was. He said the freshman is going to be a “phenomenal” player, and even went so far as to compare him to a Super Bowl champion quarterback.
“Best comparison I think would probably be, watching him in high school, probably Steve Young,” Kiffin said. “A kind of smooth release like that. Not super fasat, but really quick feet and a really quick release.”
Kiffin is now the head coach at Florida Atlantic, so he doesn’t get a say in Alabama’s quarterback situation anymore. He deferred to Saban’s judgment on that.
“But it’s a great problem to have,” he said.