Alabama head coach Nick Saban has been one of the more progressive minds in the sport over the years, but he is not exactly on board with the new redshirt rule in college football this season.
“I do think that this is not a good rule,” Saban said of the redshirt rule, according to Yahoo! Sports. “The timing of guys being able to say ‘I want to get redshirted’ is not good — the fourth or fifth or sixth game of the season after they’ve played three or four games.”
Saban went on to suggest a player choosing to transfer after four games is unfair to the teammates that player is then leaving behind.
“We gave them a scholarship. I don’t really think it’s fair to their teammates to have the option to not continue to play,” Saban explained. “I think that’s not a good thing. I think the intent of the rule was so you can play a young player, a freshman player, and enhance his development. This has turned into something that I think is less than what we all desired it to be.”
The new redshirt rule allows a player to appear in up to four games without sacrificing a year of eligibility, as long as that player has a redshirt year to use. The transfer rule was implemented with the idea of providing some more roster flexibility throughout the season to get younger players some playing time and provide a possible buffer to fill in depth concerns that arise due to injuries as the season goes along. But one of the other impacts the rule is having is becoming more visible in that players can now appear in four games and then decide whether or not they want to transfer to another program for a shot at a better position on the field.
Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant made his decision to transfer out of the program last week, shortly after Dabo Swinney had decided to give the starting job to freshman Trevor Lawrence. Bryant’s decision to leave Clemson in the middle of the season may become the new norm under the redshirt rule, which is what is what is concerning Saban and perhaps other coaches around the country.
The reason this is relevant at Alabama is that Jalen Hurts just played in his fifth game for Alabama, thus burning his year of eligibility this season despite Tua Tagovailoa being the team’s starter. Saban said he was not going to be concerned about the redshirt rule as he went through this season, and perhaps that was evidenced by the decision to play Hurts as often as he has in games that were lopsided matchups favoring Alabama.
Has the decision been officially made? whether or not Alabama head coach Nick Saban wants to confirm it or not, Saban has confirmed Tua Tagovailoa will get the start for the second straight week this weekend. While Tagovailoa will be the team’s starter, Saban did not rule out finding times to use Jalen Hurts.
“Everyone knows that Tua is going to start and we’re going to use Jalen’s skill set in the future,” Saban said, per ESPN.com. “Now we know and you know.”
Saban caught some heat for the way he handled postgame questions about what he learned about the quarterback play in a 51-14 victory over Louisville in Orlando on Saturday. Saban has been rather rough with questions about the quarterback situation all offseason and still remains a bit stern about the topic.
Tagovailoa seemed to outplay Hurts in the season opener. Tagovailoa completed 12 of 16 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 26 yards and another touchdown, while Hurts completed five of nine passes for 70 yards and rushed for nine yards.
Saban said he is not taking into consideration the new redshirt rule as a way to manipulate Hurts’ eligibility (the new rule allows players to preserve a year of eligibility by appearing in no more than four games in a season).
Alabama hosts Arkansas State this Saturday.
If Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts was looking to build a case for taking the starting job for the Crimson Tide in 2018, he may have to rely on more than his performance in the spring game. Hurts turned in a sub-par performance in Alabama’s spring game on Saturday afternoon, leaving the door wide open for some speculation about his future as Alabama’s spring comes to a close.
Hurts completed 19 of his 37 pass attempts for 195 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. He also was sacked seven times. With Tua Tagovailoa out of action due to injury, Hurts was outperformed by redshirt freshman Mac Jones, who completed 23 of 35 passes for 289 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Jones was also intercepted once and was sacked six times. Of the two quarterbacks, Jones had the more inspiring performance.
Rumors speculating Hurts may end up looking to transfer will only continue to ignore following this spring, especially with Tagovailoa going into the offseason as the new hero in town after guiding Alabama back in the national championship game. It should be worth noting, however, a transfer for Hurts is not guaranteed to happen. That won’t stop fans and media from figuring out what will be next for Hurts.
Hurts’ dad recently suggested his son would be college football’s biggest free agent on the transfer market if he ended up losing the quarterback battle in Tuscaloosa. That may be a slight exaggeration, but there is no question Hurts would have plenty of potential and skill to offer any program he would potentially move to if he decides to leave Alabama. Alabama head coach Nick Saban tried to cool the tension by suggesting there is no reason to be concerned about the whole situation.
But this is Alabama we’re talking about. The Hurts watch is now in full force in Tuscaloosa, whether Saban likes it or not.
After a rocky first half of football from the Alabama offense, Nick Saban isn’t messing around in the second half. True freshman Tua Tagovailoa has replaced Jalen Hurts at quarterback as the second half is underway in Atlanta.
Hurts was 3-of-8 for 21 yards and rushed six times for a team-high 47 yards in the first half. Hurts picked up 31 of those yards on one play. After Alabama was shut out by the Georgia defense in the first half, and with Alabama trailing 13-0, this is out of the ordinary for Saban under these conditions. Saban has never shied away from playing multiple quarterbacks to try and figure out who is the best option to run with, but that typically happens in the beginning of the season, not the end.
Tagovailoa was a four-star recruit out of Hawaii for Alabama in the Class of 2017. Rivals ranked him the third among dual-threat quarterbacks in the recruiting class. After completing one pass for two yards, Alabama’s offense went three-and-out to start the second half.
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley was held in check for much of the afternoon on Saturday by Northwestern, but that wasn’t enough to change Barkley’s Heisman odds this week. The latest Heisman Trophy odds form Bovada held firm with the 5/4 odds placed on Barkley last week, which keeps him atop the Heisman board for now.
The most notable development in the Heisman odds this week may be the rise of Stanford running back Bryce Love. Love rocketed up the board this week by going from 14/1 odds last week to 4/1 odds this week. The only two players ahead of Love right now are Barkley and Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield. After a home loss to Iowa State, Mayfield’s Heisman odds moved from 9/4 to 13/4.
Love leads the nation with 206.67 yards per game and is the only running back in the nation to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark so far. Love leads the nation with 1,240 rushing yards, which is roughly 240 yards than the next leading running back, San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny. For reference, Barkley’s rushing total stands at 649 yards, although Barkley’s all-purpose yardage adds up to 1,302 yards, which is ahead of Love’s all-purpose yardage so far.
Last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, saw his odds dip from 10/1 to 16/1 after a road loss at NC State on Thursday night.