2022 Season Preview: Quarterbacks

Austin Hannon | @austin_hannon1, Sports Editor

“Every quarterback can throw a ball; every running back can run; every receiver is fast; but that mental toughness that you talk about translates into competitiveness.” Tom Brady 

The quarterback position — the leader of the offense, and oftentimes the leader of the team. Over the years, the Alabama Crimson Tide has had outstanding individuals at the helm of the offense. Greg McElroy in 2009-10, A.J. McCarron from 2011-2013, Blake Sims in 2014, Jake Coker in 2015, Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa from 2016-2019, and Mac Jones in 2020. That list lifted six national championships in total. However, only one quarterback in the history of the storied Alabama program has won the Heisman trophy, and that is the Crimson Tide’s current quarterback. 

Bryce Young (First String) 

The 2021 Heisman winner returns to Tuscaloosa for his junior season. After attempting just 13 passes in 2020-21, Young became the starter last year, throwing for 4,872 yards and 47 touchdowns. 

After losing his top two pass catchers from last season in Jameson Williams and John Metchie III, Young will have to live up to expectations with a more inexperienced receiving core. 

He will also have to deal with a newly formed offensive line, which he felt at times last year. Young was sacked 39 times a season ago. Without an outstanding receiving core and an inexperienced offensive line, a lot of pressure may fall on No. 9’s shoulders. 

Young will keep his offensive coordinator in Bill O’Brien, which should be a major help to an offense that lost six players to the NFL. Even with new faces, the team should be in good hands with Young behind center. 

Jalen Milroe (Second String) 

Time and time again this offseason, the Alabama coaching staff has established their confidence in the backup quarterback for the Crimson Tide. Milroe has become a fan favorite over the past year due to his impressive athleticism and strength. He starred in the annual A-Day game in April and could be of some use at some point in the season, no matter the position.  

Young had strong words of endorsement for his backup this summer. 

“‘J-Mil’ is someone I’m super close with,” Young said. “To see the growth of him coming in last year, trying to piece things together. You can tell he’s really starting to piece things together. I’m super proud of his development.” 

The former four-star from Katy, Texas, will more than likely hear his name called at some point in his Alabama career, even if it isn’t in 2022-23. 

Ty Simpson (Third String) 

Not everyone can slide a five-star quarterback into the No. 3 spot on the depth chart. At Alabama, you can. Simpson, who is just a freshman, could start for the majority of college football teams in 2022-23. He was the No. 3 rated quarterback in the country out of Martin, Tennessee in the class of 2022. After receiving 37 offers, Simpson chose the Crimson Tide, where he will have to earn the starting job in the coming years. 

In the spring game, Simpson went 5-for-12 with 43 passing yards. 

O’Brien, who gets to watch and coach Simpson every day, is impressed with his work ethic. 

“Ty Simpson just got here in January, he’s a very bright guy and works very hard and tries to get better every day,” O’Brien said. 

The Alabama quarterback room is loaded with talent, and the starting job will be up for grabs beginning in 2023-24, assuming Young declares for the 2023 NFL Draft at the conclusion of the season. Until then, Crimson Tide fans can continue to count on their Heisman trophy-winning signal caller.