Alabama Football: A Look at Bama's Newest Redheaded QB
Alabama's last quarterback with red hair, Greg McElroy, finally graduated just over a year ago, and now the Tide has added another one, with a Scottish name no less!
The first thing that jumps out about him is his ridiculously red hair. I haven't seen hair like that on a football player since Andy Dalton was slinging the skin at TCU.
McLeod is 3-star rated prospect and the second quarterback to verbally commit to the Tide's 2013 recruiting class. With Cooper Bateman already committed, it seems that McLeod is willing to be a backup quarterback.
There is nothing wrong with accepting second string duties as it only proves that he will do whatever it takes to help the team, with or without recognition on Saturdays.
Only time will tell, however, if he is content with that role, because being content as a backup is not the way Alabama plays football.
Willing is great. Content is not.
Even if he is willing to be a backup, McLeod needs to prove every day in practice that he wants to be the starter. Doing so will push everyone ahead of him on the depth chart harder.
That is exactly what Nick Saban wants: a quarterback who is willing to be a backup but will fight tooth and nail to become the starter.
Most highly-touted quarterbacks won't accept that kind of role (such as Phillip Sims), but guys with hidden potential that will stick it out are perfect for Alabama.
Just looking at Bateman tells us that the odds are stacked against McLeod, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't have all the makings of an Alabama quarterback .
McLeod played in a pro-style offense and took most of his snaps directly under center. This is the ideal setup for play-action passes, and his team heavily utilized them.
He also played in a run-first offense, just like Alabama, but the high school team leaned on their running game a bit more.
His team constantly fed the ball to Tyren Jones, who rushed for 2,400 yards and 33 touchdowns last year. Jones is also verbally committed to Alabama.
The Walton High school football team also demanded the same thing that Alabama will expect from McLeod: to play on a championship team and accept a role that doesn't get a lot of gaudy numbers.
As his team's quarterback, McLeod led his team to a nearly undefeated season in 2011.
From August 20th in the Georgia Dome to December 2nd on their home field, McLeod's team knocked off 14 straight wins.
They just couldn't pull off the last win when they returned to the Georgia Dome on December 10th, and Grayson High School defeated them 24-0 in the state championship.
They didn't win it all, but Walton High was a championship caliber team, and McLeod accepted his role as a game manager with poise.
Is Parker McLeod a good addition?
In the size department, McLeod is at a great starting place for a young quarterback looking to make it in the SEC. He stands at an impressive 6'3" and weighs 190 pounds.
When it comes to throwing, McLeod looks like he has a strong arm for a lower-tier prep prospect. He makes most of the throws that are asked of him, and his long ball is pretty dang good.
He has a habit of dropping the ball into the receivers' hands down the field and makes a lot of throws over their shoulders in stride, just like Greg McElroy did while at Alabama.
After watching the video I have seen some flaws, too.
Several times, I saw him stare down a receiver that was already open, but McLeod waited far too long to throw to his target.
He also had some instances in this "highlight video" where he led his receivers poorly, and they actually had to turn around to come back for the ball to make a play on their own.
But those throws were the minority compared to the rest of his game.
He also has a good feel for the ground game, despite his limited mobility. He makes smart scrambles.
Either way, Nick Saban has confidence in this young man, and because of that, so do I.
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