The sudden transfer of quarterback Blake Barnett has put Alabama on high alert to make sure both of its quarterback commits remain 100 percent solid with their pledges to the Tide.
Barnett, a former 5-star recruit, decided to transfer — Nick Saban said Wednesday night Barnett’s status is unclear — leaving Alabama with some depth concerns at quarterback. Cooper Bateman likely is going to be Alabama’s backup to Jalen Hurts with David Cornwell being the third-string quarterback.
The good news for Alabama is that there are no major concerns with either Tua Tagovailoa, a 5-star recruit from Honolulu, and Mac Jones, a 4-star recruit from Jacksonville, Fla., with where they stand with their commitment and whether one or the other de-commits from Alabama.
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Tagovailoa is expected to take multiple official visits to other schools while Jones has stuck by his decision to only visit Alabama, which virtually ends his recruitment.
Cornwell, who is a redshirt sophomore, could decide to transfer at some point, too, especially because it appears unlikely he’ll get serious playing time at Alabama. Bateman is a junior, so it’s unlikely he’d depart from Alabama.
Both Tagovailoa and Jones are content with Alabama bringing in two quarterbacks in the Class of 2017. Jones even flipped his commitment from Kentucky to Alabama this summer to join Tagovailoa in this class.
Tagovailoa’s mother spoke to SEC Country this summer and put an end to any rumors about him rethinking his commitment. There was talk this summer that Oregon and Southern California were more likely to sign the Hawaiian prospect than Alabama.
“I don’t believe that he’ll waver from his verbal commitment to Alabama because he’s prayed hard on it,” Diane Tagovailoa told SEC Country at The Opening, the premier summer camp in the nation, held at Nike’s world headquarters. “Once he makes up his mind, he’s a man of his word. Once he makes up his mind, that’s what he’s going with.”
When Jones decided to commit to Alabama this summer, there was a lot of criticism that came his way.
The main question was why would Jones choose a school with another highly ranked QB in his class when he could have possibly coasted to the starting job at Kentucky one day? To Jones, the chance to square off against Tagovailoa excites him. It doesn’t scare him off.
“A lot of thought went into it,” Jones said this summer. “I was sitting in my bed every night and thinking of what to do. I had to just make the decision and I went with it.
“But I didn’t really think about Tua (during the decision process) very much. I’ve seen Tua throw and I think Alabama’s offense is really good for me. I just decided that I needed to make the move. With Tua, we have a good relationship. We have different personalities with us being from very different places, but I think we’re going to be great together.”
Keeping these two committed is one of Alabama’s biggest priorities in this class, and it looks like the Tide have already accomplished that goal.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
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