Nick Saban shot down a reporter at SEC Media Days on Wednesday who reiterated a tired point about a possible quarterback controversy this fall between reigning SEC Offensive Player of the Year Jalen Hurts and former 5-star prospect Tua Tagovailoa.
Hurts is the clear starter for Alabama this fall after leading the team to a national championship game appearance. But Saban, in an answer to SEC Network’s Dari Nowkah, said fans should expect to see Tagovailoa on the field this season — regardless if the team is blowing out its opponent or if Hurts goes down with an injury.
“We have total faith and confidence in the quarterback that we have, but we want to develop every player on our team and Tua has a lot of potential,” Saban said. “We want to continue to develop him. If we feel like he can play winning football, I think it’s going to be important for us to allow him to do that; so, if he gets in a situation that he needs to play, he’s going to be able to play winning football for us. We want to continue his development and a part of that development is he needs to play in games. So, to answer your question, absolutely.”
Reading into that answer, it would appear likely that Alabama will have some special packages for the touted freshman. The Army All-American was rated as the nation’s No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2017 and went down as the state of Hawaii’s all-time leading passer. In his senior season at St. Louis School (Honolulu), Tagovailoa threw for 2,669 yards and rushed for 727 yards, scoring 35 total touchdowns.
Tagovailoa was 17 of 29 for 313 yards with three touchdowns and an interception in the A-Day game this past April.