Alabama QB Mac Jones: No One Has Told Me I’m The Starter

Alabama opens the season in less than three weeks, but Nick Saban is yet to name a starting quarterback

Zach Gelb
September 09, 2020 - 7:51 am
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Alabama opens the season against Missouri on Sept. 26, yet Nick Saban has not named a starting quarterback.

Does Saban really not know who his starting quarterback will be? Or is he just playing media mind games?

“Nobody’s come out [and said it],” Alabama quarterback Mac Jones said on The Zach Gelb Show, laughing. “But I feel confident in myself, and my teammates could probably say the same. We’re just trying to focus on fall camp right now. We got a few more practices of fall camp, and then we’ll be locked into Missouri. But I feel really good about this team. We’re just focusing on each day, and we’ll see what happens from there.”

Jones is the favorite to replace Tua Tagovailoa. After all, he filled in last year after Tagovailoa suffered a season-ending hip injury and has played in 17 games over the past two seasons.

Jones’ chief competition for the starting role is five-star freshman Bryce Young, a dual-threat quarterback from Southern California’s Mater Dei High School.

“I think all the guys in our QB room have worked really hard,” Jones said. “Bryce has come in, he’s learned the playbook, he’s been doing a good job with that. Paul Tyson has improved a lot, just getting that experience with the 2s, getting a lot of reps there. And then all of our walk-on quarterbacks have to be ready to play, too. So I think that our whole group is moving in the right direction. I’ve told them – and they know this – that everyone has to be ready to play with this coronavirus stuff. Anything can happen. So every guy in that room has to be ready to get their number called, and I think they’ve done a great job.”

Jones completed 68.8 percent of his passes for 1,503 yards, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions last season. He threw for a career-high 335 yards and four touchdowns in a 48-45 loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl last November, as Alabama missed the College Football Playoff for the first time.

Jones is confident in his ability to not only start for Alabama, but also lead the Tide back to the playoff.

“Honestly, I would just say it goes back to my teammates,” he said. “I have a good bond with my teammates, and I think those guys trust me. Hopefully I can earn their respect every day, but at the end of the day, I just want to have fun and win because winning is fun. Coach is going to put the best player out there. I’ve learned it over the years, and I’ll continue to try and be the best teammate and player I can be to get us to the national championship, where we want to be. That goes back to just focusing on my job and doing what I’m supposed to do, and everyone else is going to do their job really well. We’ll have a really good team this year, and hopefully I can be the leader for our team and put us in that spot.”