Rare Air: Alabama Is Worried About Its Quarterback Situation? Nick Saban Felt The Need To Add Competition

Videos by OutKick

Alabama decided to dip into the transfer portal this week and add a quarterback in hopes of finding the right guy to lead the Tide in 2023. Notre Dame transfer Tyler Buchner committed to Nick Saban on Thursday, giving them another option at the position.

The conversation coming out of Spring practice centered around Alabama coaches not feeling comfortable enough with the competition between Ty Simpson and Jalen Milroe. Neither quarterback separated themselves during the Spring, which led to OC Tommy Rees grabbing a quarterback who he has a prior relationship with.

In terms of the move, Alabama coach Nick Saban felt that they needed to bring in someone else to add to the competition, for only the second time in his tenure.

“Well, we wanted to give our quarterbacks in our program every opportunity to win the job in spring practice,” Nick Saban told the College Gameday crew Thursday night. “We felt like we needed to add some competition in the room and Tyler was certainly a guy that was going to be the starter last year at Notre Dame, got injured, played the bowl game, played very well.”

Will The Second Saban Transfer QB Have The Same Success?

It’s certainly been a long time since Alabama has been in this type of situation at quarterback, which is one of the reasons why fans are quietly panicking. The last time Alabama had to rely on a transfer to help them win a title was in 2015, when Florida State transfer Jacob Coker led the Tide to the 2016 National Championship.

But Coker had time, as he battled Blake Simms for the starting spot. After Simms won the job in Jacob’s first year at Alabama, he finally won the job in 2015. Time is not something Alabama has right now if they want to compete for a championship this season.

Now, Nick Saban finds himself in another predicament, not feeling comfortable enough with the talent he recruited and developed to stay away from the portal. If Buchner was to win the starting job, he would be only the second transfer quarterback in Nick Saban’s tenure to lead the Tide.

The positive spin to this situation lands at the feet of offensive coordinator Tommy Rees. Having a previous relationship with Tyler Buchner will certainly help Buchner get acclimated with Alabama’s offense, even though it’s Saban’s system. The toughest assignment for an Alabama transfer is understanding how they operate in Tuscaloosa, which will look nothing like what he’s leaving behind at Notre Dame.

Can Tyler Buchner Win The Alabama Starting Job?

There’s certainly a reason Alabama brought Buchner into the program. Yes, he will have to battle with Simpson and Milroe over the summer and into fall camp. But, this move proved how uncomfortable Nick Saban truly was with his current crop of quarterbacks.

Buchner threw for 949 yards and 6 touchdowns during his time at Notre Dame, while he dealt with an injury for most of 2022. It’s not as if Alabama is in a terrible spot when it comes to production, given that Jalen Milroe does have experience. But after watching Buchner play against South Carolina in the 2022 Gator Bowl against South Carolina, he certainly brings a different dimension to the quarterback room.

In South Bend, with Sam Hartman transferring from Wake Forest, it was the perfect opportunity for Buchner to look around for a place that had a true competition ongoing.

Alabama added Notre Dame transfer Tyler Buchner from the portal
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 30: Tyler Buchner #12 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish runs for yardage during the second half of the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl against the South Carolina Gamecocks at TIAA Bank Field on December 30, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

As we’ve seen in the past, Nick Saban is not going to bring a player into his program if he wasn’t the right fit.

“We thought he would add a lot of competition. We think he’s got the right kind of character and attitude to be a positive influence on our team,” Nick Saban added.

Now we will watch the battle unfold over the next four months heading into Fall camp. This might be the first time in a while that Alabama fans are nervous about the quarterback competition.

Don’t worry fans, Nick Saban felt the same way, so he went and found another guy to spice things up.

Written by Trey Wallace

Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series.

Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football “Credit Card Scandal” along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.

Leave a Reply