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Alabama Football: Why the Crimson Tide Do Not Need an Elite QB

Nick Saban has proven over the course of his career that he can win big without the presence of a star quarterback
Nick Saban has proven over the course of his career that he can win big without the presence of a star quarterbackKevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Sanjay KirpalaniNational Recruiting AnalystJanuary 31, 2012

The pieces of paper rolling out of the fax machines this morning in the University of Alabama’s football offices were the metaphorical equivalent of winning lottery tickets.

At least if you believe the legions of recruiting analysts over various networks— although I am willing to guess that there are even more coaches across the country that would trade recruiting classes with Nick Saban quicker than they could enunciate “Roll Tide.”

Almost half of their class (12 of their 27 signees) finished in the ESPNU 150.

Saban and his staff spread the wealth, with the Tide gaining quality and quantity at every position group  —except the most important position on the field. 

Alabama did get a quarterback — Alec Morris from Allen, Texas — but Alabama had to pry him away from Wake Forest to get his signature. 

No offense to the young man, but that is not exactly a nail-biting tug of war with LSU, Georgia, Florida or Auburn that Alabama fans are used to in late January. 

There is no need for an Eli Manning type of controversy, simply because Alabama does not need their quarterback to be defined by a sterling adjective.

As I pointed out in the Signing Day Tracker piece, Alabama won a national championship with their last 3-star quarterback recruit from Texas — Greg McElroy. 

Jay Barker led the Tide to the 1992 national championship, but he was hardly a hot commodity on the recruiting trail until a courtesy visit from former Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden helped nudge Gene Stallings into offering him a scholarship.

Morris may not have Gunner Kiel’s arm, or Jameis Winston’s ability to beat opponents with his feet and his arm, but Alabama does not need him to be the next Joe Namath. 

If indeed he will be the quarterback of the future for Alabama — and that certainly is not set in stone — he will have everything in place necessary for a quarterback to succeed. 

Alabama has stockpiled a bevy of championship-caliber players at running back, wide receiver and on the offensive line. 

Even though Saban has to reload a defense that was perhaps the best of the modern era, a look at the last two classes of recruits should show that the Crimson Tide are showing no signs of letting up on defense anytime soon.

So while some recruiting experts or fans of other schools may rush to throw out the “Alabama doesn’t have a quarterback of the future,” line, there is a simple response that should silence the doubters. 

They never needed one. 

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