When offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin said he would ‘love to be back’ in Tuscaloosa next season, he pointed to the impending third consecutive quarterback battle as one of many elements piquing his interest. In his two years at Alabama, he’s molded two first year starters into College Football Playoff quarterbacks. With Jake Coker’s impending graduation, he’ll get a shot with a third next season.
If the next battle is anything like the previous two, the decision won’t be made until sometime around Sept. 3, 2016 when Alabama takes on Southern California in its season opener, but the picture is already starting to take shape.
Bateman is the likely leader in the clubhouse at this moment, thought that could change in spring practice. Of the non-Coker quarterbacks, Bateman is the sole contender with a collegiate start to his name, starting the Ole Miss contest over Coker. He went 11-of-14 for 87 yards and one interception.
“Early in the season, starting one game, getting that under my belt, I think that will help lead me into next season and spring ball,” Bateman said. “I think that’ll definitely be to my benefit after the season. I think that’s what helped out Jake a lot this year, going into this season. With him, he’s had a lot of experience playing here and at Florida State before. Experience is a big thing, especially in the SEC.”
The third-stringer has one more year of eligibility left, but it likely won’t be played out at Alabama. A report from the Denton Record-Chronicle has the Texas native transferring to North Texas after the bowl season. Morris had no comment on the matter when asked earlier this week.
“Cotton Bowl stuff,” Morris said.
“I wasn’t mad [about the report]. But we’re at the Cotton Bowl. I’m on Alabama, I’m here to talk about Alabama.”
The former 5-star recruit has earned his fair share of buzz among the Alabama faithful. He’s spent time running the scout team, particularly where dual-threat quarterbacks are concerned, and the former No. 2 ranked quarterback recruit is pegged by many to be the future at the position for Alabama. After redshirting this season, he’s likely to be in the thick of the next quarterback battle. He’s been working to put on weight, sharing pictures of some meals on Twitter–maybe doubly motivated after a few tackles from Alabama’s defensive line.
Cornwell is Alabama’s great mystery. After a strong off-season, he dropped off the map during the fall at the tail end of the quarterback battle. He played in the A-day game, going 12-of-24, but has rarely been heard of since. His standing come spring practice and the fall quarterback battle remains to be seen.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports