Alabama may have fallen just shy of a second straight national championship last January, so why not emulate some of the plays used by a Super Bowl champion? The hiring of a former New England Patriots assistant coach as offensive coordinator was bound to make that a possibility.
Brian Daboll is busy working with the Alabama offense this spring as he takes over as offensive coordinator following the departures of Lane Kiffin (FAU) and Steve Sarkisian (Atlanta Falcons), and he has been sprinkling in some plays that have helped contribute to the recent success in New England. Daboll has been taking advantage of his connections from his previous job by setting up instant conversations over FaceTime between Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts and Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.
“We’re running some of the same stuff they’ve ran, so he’ll call Tom Brady and ask him what his top five plays are,” Hurts said, according to ESPN. “It’s cool because we’re running the same plays he’s ran.”
As if Alabama needed much help winning, now they’re getting professional advice from a future hall of fame quarterback and an all-pro tight end and more. The rich get richer.
And don’t forget, Brady is 1-0 in his career against Alabama. He led Michigan to an Orange Bowl victory over the Crimson Tide with 369 pasing yards and four touchdowns at the end of the 1999 season. Of course, that was before Nick Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa.
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn was optimistic about wide receiver Kyle Davis returning to the team at some point this spring, but the tune has changed regarding his future. Malzahn is now saying Davis may be out for the remainder of Auburn’s spring practices due to personal reasons.
“Kyle Davis is still taking care of some personal business,” Malzahn said, according to SEC Country. “I’m not for sure if he’s going to be back before the end of the spring. He will be back for the fall, just taking a little bit longer than we initially thought.”
It was just a few weeks ago Malzahn said Davis was going to be out for the start of spring practices, which are now close to half over. For now, the plan is simply to have him return over the summer in preparation for the fall.
In the meantime, Malzahn confirmed John Franklin III is working primarily as a wide receiver, which had previously been suspected to be the case.
We don’t know yet who will be Auburn’s starting quarterback. We do, though, know who won’t be.
Tyler Queen took to his personal Twitter account this afternoon to announce that, “after a lot of prayer and discussion with my family,” he feels “it is time to transfer and explore other opportunities.” In his Twitter missive, the rising redshirt sophomore wrote that “I feel like I haven’t had a chance to show the player I’m capable of being.”
A three-star member of the Tigers’ 2015 recruiting class, Queen was rated as the No. 15 pro-style quarterback in the country. Elbow surgery helped lead to a redshirt his true freshman season. He appeared in two games last season, completing one of his two passes for 11 yards.
Incumbent Sean White and Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham are viewed as the main contenders for the starting job, with the latter seen as the favorite by many. White is extremely limited this spring because of a broken forearm suffered in the Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma, leading new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey to declare that a starter won’t be named exiting the 15 sessions.
Redshirt freshman Woody Barrett and early enrollee Malik Willis are on the periphery of the competition as well. John Franklin III would’ve been a part of the signal-calling gaggle but has been getting reps at wide receiver.
Add Oregon State to the list of schools who have wrapped up spring football before, well, spring.
The Beavers held their annual spring game on Saturday and one of the big things everybody was wondering is if there would be any set pecking order at the quarterback position with three players neck-and-neck for the job. Based on everything being said in Corvallis however, it doesn’t appear the team is any closer to naming a starter right now and may have the race continue through fall camp.
“I truly believe we have three quarterbacks who can manage the football game in the Pac-12,” head coach Gary Andersen told reporters. “It comes down to who can make special plays. We’ll continue to evaluate them.”
Junior college transfer Jake Luton is probably the most intriguing option at the position but didn’t appear to create the necessary separation with incumbent starters Marcus McMaryion and Darell Garretson. OSU has suffered a ton of injuries behind center so it’s probably good that the team has options but it doesn’t appear the coaching staff is any closer to picking “the guy” until August.
The Beavers open the 2017 season at Colorado State and have plenty of momentum after a late season surge last year. Whether they can reach that elusive six-win mark for a bowl game remains to be seen but chances are high that any success in the upcoming year will come down to if the team can get some consistent play at quarterback.
Either way, at least they’ll be able to lean on star tailback Ryan Nall, who threw for 60-yard touchdown in the game in addition to rushing for 72 yards and a score on the ground. Who knows, maybe there’s four options at quarterback in Corvallis if you consider the team’s Wildcat package.
Having a quarterback who can do it all is a nice luxury to have. While much of the Auburn quarterback situation may be focusing on Jarrett Stidham and the news that John Franklin III is seeing reps at wide receiver this spring, it is Woody Barrett who is turning heads with his sense of self-confidence.
The redshirt freshman quarterback is making a good impression with his teammates with his mentality on the practice field. Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson respects the way Barrett is working hard this spring and explains the young quarterback seems to think eh can score at will.
“Woody gets out there, and, it’s funny, Woody literally believes he will score every play,” Johnson said, according to Al.com. “To a point, that’s what you got to love. That’s the same mentality I go in with every play. I love it. He’s got so much confidence that it gets scary sometimes.”
Now is a good time to have that kind of confidence in your game, especially as Auburn is in a position where it could benefit by having a solid quarterback option. Sean White is banged up this spring and Stidham is making the transition to his new program after fleeing Baylor. Franklin III is competing for playing time at quarterback as well in addition to getting some time to catch passes.
“He’s got a skill set, everybody knows he’s a great athlete,” Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said regarding Franklin, according to Gridiron Now. “It’s kinda hard to tell. He hasn’t gotten much, but we’ll give him an opportunity and his attitude is great. He’s wanting to help the team any way he can.”
Other quarterbacks hoping to impress in the spring include Tyler Queen and Malik Willis.