Since being named the new head coach at North Texas, Seth Littrell has been on the hunt for a graduate transfer quarterback. While nothing is official, it appears the former North Carolina offensive coordinator has indeed bagged himself one.
Citing a source close to the situation, the Denton Record-Chronicle is reporting that Alec Morris has decided to leave Alabama and continue his collegiate playing career at UNT. It’s expected that Morris will remain with the Tide through the College Football Playoffs before moving on to Denton.
As Morris will be a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2016, his final season of eligibility.
Morris was a three-star member of the Tide’s 2012 recruiting class coming out of high school in Allen, Tex., rated as the No. 30 pro-style quarterback in the country. The past two seasons, Morris served as the No. 3 quarterback, first behind Blake Sims and Jake Coker and this year behind Coker and Cooper Bateman. With Coker’s eligibility expiring, the Tide will head into the offseason with the redshirt sophomore Bateman and true freshman Blake Barnett as the favorites to be the starter in 2016, which likely played a significant role in Morris’ decision.
Morris attempted all of one pass during his time with the Tide, a six-yard completion in the blowout of Charleston Southern last month.
After two games, Nick Saban has apparently felt the need to shake things up under center at Alabama.
Very shortly before kickoff of the Ole Miss-‘Bama game, it was confirmed that Cooper Bateman will get the start at quarterback for the Tide against the Rebels. It marks the sophomore’s first career start.
Bateman will get the nod over Florida State transfer Jacob Coker, who won the quarterback competition coming out of summer camp. Coker, who spent 2014 as Blake Sims‘ primary backup, performed rather well statistically, completing 30-of-47 passes for 427 yards. He had a pair of touchdown passes as well as one interception.
This season, Bateman has seen his share of playing time as he’s completed 72 percent of his 25 passes for 149 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
The game didn’t start off well for the Tide as they fumbled the opening kickoff, but a fired-up defense managed to hold the Rebels to a field goal.
As the 2015 season draws near, we peek into our crystal ball and
guess project how each of the five major conferences will play out. Today, we will be examining the home of the defending national champion, the Big Ten.
And while we’re at it, check out some of our other Power Five conference predictions HERE (ACC), HERE (Big 12) and HERE (Big Ten) as the CFT team continues to take its month-long glimpse of the upcoming season.
1. Georgia (10-3; beat Louisville in Belk Bowl)
There is one certainty when it comes to the East: UGA will not finish lower than third, a low-water benchmark for each of Mark Richt‘s 14 seasons in Athens that has included five division titles — none since 2012, though. They return the most talent of any team in the division, although the fact that they opted for Grayson Lambert as the starting quarterback has me second-guessing my prediction. It’s been a decade since UGA’s last SEC championship, and if they’re going to get back to that level they’ll have to do so with a schedule that includes both Alabama and Auburn as well as a road trip to Tennessee. Still, anything less than an East title and a spot in the SEC championship game would be decidedly disappointing — and would lead to yet another offseason of “is it time to go in another direction?” speculation.
2. Tennessee (7-6; beat Iowa in Taxslayer Bowl)
Am I a year early with this lofty projection? Possibly, especially given the team right below them. Still, there’s no denying that Butch Jones has stuffed his talent cupboard after the barren years under his predecessor, Derek Dooley. The Vols closed out last year on a positive note, going 4-1 down the stretch — the lone loss coming by eight to Mizzou — capping it off with an impressive 45-28 win over the Hawkeyes in the bowl game. That final flourish coincided with Josh Dobbs‘ ascension as the starting quarterback. With the scintillating playmaker poised to build off his first season at this level, the Vols could very well challenge both UGA and Mizzou for East supremacy.
3. Missouri (11-3; beat Minnesota in Citrus Bowl)
“Here we go again, denigrating the two-time defending East champion Tigers.” — the two Mizzou fans who frequent this site, probably. And, actually, that’s an understandable reaction, given how the Tigers have been the class of the division the past two seasons. They’re also one of the few teams in the conference that returns its starting quarterback. Still, there are concerns along the defensive line — they return just five starters on that side of the ball, period — and their schedule doesn’t do them very many favors as they play at Georgia and Arkansas as well as play host to Mississippi State. It wouldn’t shock me, though, if Mizzou made it three straight titles. In fact, the only thing that would shock the system is if they finish outside the top three in the division.