Alabama Recruiting: Comparing/Contrasting Both 2013 QB Commits
Despite landing stellar recruiting classes the past two years (both the 2011 and 2012 classes were rated as nation’s best by 247 Sports), Nick Saban had a clear focus on strengthening one position in particular for this recruiting cycle: quarterback.
Saban brought in a signal-caller in each of the last three classes (Phillip Sims in 2010, Phillip Ely in 2011 and Alec Morris in 2012). But with the recent departure of Sims, the need to bring in a quality passer became magnified.
In addition, with starting quarterback A.J. McCarron entering his redshirt junior season, Alabama has to begin the process of grooming his eventual successor.
With Ely and Morris being the only scholarship quarterbacks (running back Blake Sims could switch to quarterback as well) currently on the roster behind him, Saban aggressively hit the recruiting trail in search of targeting field generals that could come in and compete to take over for McCarron when he moves on.
So how do these future Crimson Tide signal-callers compare to one another, and how do they differ?
Find out inside, as I break down their similarities and their differences.
As impressive as Bateman and McLeod’s credentials are on the field, the two signal-callers are equally as brilliant in the classroom. Bateman currently holds a 3.7 GPA, and McLeod sports a 3.95, according to Trevor Hewitt of BamaOnline.com.
Their cerebral nature has translated well to the gridiron and has undoubtedly helped them get a firm grasp on the mental aspects of playing the sport’s toughest and most valuable position.
Both Bateman and McLeod possess the ability and the work ethic necessary to be successful at the college level on and off the field.
Different Styles of Play
Bateman has emerged as one of the nation’s top quarterbacks by operating a fast-paced, no-huddle attack that has him taking most of the snaps out of the shotgun.
By contrast, McLeod does his damage lining up under center in a pro-style offense predicated on him being an efficient passer.
While Bateman may have a bit of an adjustment period to go through in his transition from high school to college, McLeod will have the benefit of playing in an offense similar to what he has been running at Walton High School.
Similar Size and Attributes
Both Bateman and McLeod stand 6’3”, with the Utah native packing 195 pounds on his frame and his counterpart tipping the scales five pounds lighter.
Even though Bateman and McLeod are ranked as pro-style quarterbacks, each is blessed with above-average mobility—with Bateman being lauded for his footwork and McLeod possessing the ability to throw on the run.
Difference in Rankings/Offer List
Bateman is a consensus 4-star prospect and one of the top quarterbacks in the country, and his commitment was arguably the most important get for this class thus far.
Bateman—who holds offers from the likes of LSU, Florida, Auburn and Washington, among others—was recently invited to the prestigious Elite 11 quarterback camp, as well as Nike’s The Opening camp held in Oregon this summer.
On the other hand, McLeod is rated as a 3-star prospect and doesn’t boast the extensive offer list in comparison with his future teammate.
However, the fact that Alabama tendered an offer and accepted his commitment after watching him throw at its camp shows that the Tide are confident in his ability to compete for the job when he arrives in Tuscaloosa.
Similar Early Enrollees
Considering their prowess as students, it should not come as a surprise that both Bateman and McLeod intend to get a jump start on their college careers by enrolling at Alabama in January of 2013.
Besides getting to go through spring practice next year, the move to get a head start on their college careers will help both adjust to college life as student athletes.
Although it’s unlikely at this point, if McCarron should decide to opt to turn pro following this season, the fact that both 2013 quarterback commits will be on campus for the spring semester would be huge should they be called upon to play at some point in 2013.
Difference in High School Competition
With McLeod hailing from the metro Atlanta area, the fact that he led his school to the Georgia 5A state title game is impressive considering the level of competition found in his area.
Meanwhile, Bateman is a bit of a trailblazer considering he is the highest-rated quarterback prospect from Utah to commit to an SEC program.
While he may be rated as one of the nation’s best field generals, Bateman will face a different caliber of competition when he arrives in Tuscaloosa.
McLeod certainly will as well, but his ability to perform at a high level in talent-laden Georgia will certainly be beneficial to his chances to adjust to the speed of SEC defenses.