College football programs have already started spring practice and each program has position battles at different spots. Coaches love to generate competition, as it helps their players improve. A few teams across the nation have that type of battle at the most important spot on the roster: quarterback. One of those teams is the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The Tide lost starting QB Jake Coker after he helped led them to a College Football Playoffs Championship. With Coker now gone, Alabama will turn to a new starting QB. There's limited experience among the contenders, but talent as well. Below, we've broken down the four main contenders for the starting QB job and predicted a winner.
Redshirt freshman Blake Barnett
Barnett might have the most talent of any of the players fighting for the job. A former five-star recruit, Barnett was the nation's top rated pocket passer two years ago. Alabama could have an incredible talent on their hands, if he's ready to play this season. At 6-foot-5, 200-pounds, Barnett needs to bulk up but has room to grow. He showed flashes in practices last year, and although he has an odd throwing motion, Barnett has the ability.
Redshirt junior Cooper Bateman
Bateman doesn't have the arm talent a few of the others do on this list, but he's the only one with real game experience. Bateman threw 291 yards last year, completing 71 percent of his passes. He received a start at one point, but threw one TD against two picks. Bateman's experience will help him, but didn't look that great last season. If Alabama starts the former four-star recruit and Top 100 player, they need to use his rushing ability more.
Redshirt sophomore David Cornwell
Cornwell was a former top-100 recruit and a four-star player. But, he was behind Bateman and Coker last season. Cornwell seemed to suffer from some confidence issues after struggling early last fall in camp, but there is talent there. He will at least have a shot at winning the job.
Freshman Jalen Hurts
Hurts enrolled early, and is a true dual-threat. A four-star recruit, he was ranked lower than the other three on this list. Hurts likely has the best running ability of the QBs, an asset that could help him. While enrolling early gives him a shot at the starting gig, he'll likely finish fourth in the QB derby.
Barnett gives Alabama a chance to have a QB for several years. While there will be growing pains, Barnett should be the future of the Alabama. If he can prove that he can limit turnovers and provide leadership equal to that of Bateman and Cornwell he should win the starting job. Barnett is not guaranteed to win the starting job, and this battle will continue into the fall.