Alabama may have landed its biggest pledge to date for its 2013 class when Salt Lake City quarterback Cooper Bateman committed to the Crimson Tide earlier this morning.
Nick Saban and his staff fulfilled one of its most glaring needs for the 2013 cycle, and may have found its quarterback of the future in the process.
The 6’3”, 195-pound Bateman is ranked as the 48th best player (fourth best pro-style quarterback) in the country by 247 Sports.
Bateman selected the Crimson Tide over Auburn, Florida, LSU and Washington.
With the departure of backup quarterback Phillip Sims last month, the urgency to gain the services of an elite signal-caller in the 2013 class became magnified.
Returning junior starter AJ McCarron is the only field general on the roster who has taken a snap in a college game—with his backups comprising of a redshirt freshman (Phillip Ely), a true freshman not yet on campus (Alec Morris) and converted running back Blake Sims.
If McCarron—who is a legit NFL prospect—turns pro after this season, Alabama will be left in the unenviable position of having an untested quarterback taking over in 2013.
However, snaring Bateman—who intends to be an early enrollee—at least gives Saban another talented prospect to enter the competition to eventually take over for McCarron.
The West Coast gunslinger threw for 2,484 yards and 26 touchdowns during his junior year, and he recently received an invitation to the Elite 11 camp, signifying his reputation as one of the nation’s top prep quarterbacks available in this cycle.
Alabama has already attracted a wealth of talent at the skill positions, and Bateman’s pledge will only help their efforts in bolstering their 2013 class.
By locking up one of the nation’s top players at the most important position on the field, Saban erased one of the few question marks for the future of the Crimson Tide program.