Power 5 colleges continue to tap into talent-rich Alabama for top QBs
When Thompson’s Conner Harrell signed on in North Carolina on Sunday, it continued a recent trend of top quarterbacks from Alabama high schools leaving the state to play college football.
Is this something that schools across the state need to be concerned about or just a product of the depth of the Alabama college job and the overall talent of the state’s high schools?
“That’s just one of those things,” Sports Illustrated recruiting director John Garcia Jr. said. “You only take one quarterback a year for the most part. Alabama will always look nationally. It’s just what it is. It’s just what they do.
“Every once in a while there will be a Paul Tyson or a Taulia Tagovailoa that eventually stays in shape but for the most part it will be a national search every year. Auburn is really going to evolve, in my opinion, towards that same trend although conventionally the state of Alabama, Georgia, Florida is really where they’ve been looking for talent overall, including the quarterback. .
RELATED: Top 25 Alabama Rookies
Alabama and Auburn last signed high-profile quarterbacks out of state in 2019, which was also the strongest class in recent years. That season, four quarterbacks were among the state’s top 12 rookies, according to the 247 composite rankings. Alabama signed No. 8 Taulia Tagovailoa, who was later transferred to Maryland, and No. 12 Tyson, who remains in Tuscaloosa. Auburn signed number 3 Bo Nix, still the Tigers starter. Peter Parrish (No. 11) of Central-Phenix City has signed with LSU. He is now in Memphis.
“It’s not like colleges in the state are ignoring quarters of our state,” said Randy Kennedy, program director / host of Sports Talk 99.5 FM in Mobile and recruiting analyst for AL.com. “Auburn (Bo Nix) and South Alabama (Jake Bentley) have starters who were leading stars of the state. Tyler Johnston III is one of the most successful quarterbacks in UAB history and Paul Tyson is the Alabama replacement. “
Johnston III won two state championships at Spanish Fort before signing with the UAB. He was the winner of Mr. State Football in 2015. Bentley played at Opelika High but finished early and signed with South Carolina. After a stop in Utah, he was transferred to southern Alabama this offseason.
Harrell, the Class 7A fullback of the year 2020, is one of four top-tier Class 2022 quarterbacks already committed to leaving the state for college. He is joined by Tanner Bailey of Gordo (Oregon), Zach Pyron of Pinson Valley (Baylor) and Khalib Johnson of Clay-Chalkville (Louisville). Oak Mountain QB Evan Smith signed up for Northwestern over a busy weekend, although he is expected to play another role for the Pat Fitzgerald Wildcats.
Pyron was the state’s sole representative at the Elite 11 QB Showcase in Los Angeles last week.
“The fact that a guy like Pinson Valley’s Zach Pyron can be an Elite 11 quarterback without receiving an offer from Alabama or Auburn is a sign that the depth of talent in the state has skyrocketed. “Kennedy said. “I think in a few years we’re going to look at the success of guys like Pyron at Baylor, Trent Battle at TCU, Will Crowder in West Virginia, and Riley Leonard at Duke and realize how special it was for quarterbacks. Alabama.”
Leonard (Fairhope), Crowder (Gardendale), and Battle (Daphne) were all in the 2021 class in the state, which wasn’t as highly rated as this year’s class or certainly the stellar 2019 class.
Auburn and Alabama have shown interest in several of this year’s quarterbacks, but the Tides and Tigers already have QBs engaged in the class of 2022. Alabama has a commitment from Ty Simpson of Tennessee, while Auburn has an engagement from Holden Geriner of Georgia. These two players also competed in the Elite 11 with Pyron last week.
“Geriner being a kid from Georgia, kid from Savannah, he’s still semi-local to the Tigers, so I don’t think we should be reading too much about those quarterbacks in the state leaving the state of the Alabama, “said Garcia Jr ..” I think that’s a good thing because these programs now realize that you can go to Birmingham, you can go to a place like Gordo – just outside of Tuscaloosa – and get a good prospect like Tanner Bailey although Nick Saban doesn’t necessarily want to kick the door down for the kid.
It’s also worth noting that former Thompson QB Sawyer Pate accepted a favorite walk-on at Auburn in the Class of 2020 and is still in the Plains.
“In general, the state of Alabama is really considered a quarterback state and next year’s promotion in 2023 could be even better,” said David Morris, owner of the quarterback training company. -rear QB Country. “Everything is going in the right direction.
ALABAMA’S HIGH PROFILE QBS IN LAST YEARS
CLASS OF 2022
(Ranking according to 247 composite)
# 10 Tanner Bailey, Gordo, Oregon
No.22 Zach Pyron, Pinson Valley, Baylor
No. 25 Khalib Johnson, Clay-Chalkville, Louisville
No. 26 Conner Harrell, Thompson, North Carolina
# 25 Will Crowder, Gardendale, West Virginia
# 28 Riley Leonard, Fairhope, Duke
# 32 Trent Battle, Daphne, TCU
CLASS OF 2020
# 7 Kristian Story, Lanett, Alabama (Played QB and security in high school but signed as a defensive back in Alabama)
No. 12 Robby Ashford, Hoover, Oregon
No. 14 Logan Smothers, Muscle Shoals, Nebraska
No. 45 Tucker Melton, Central-Phenix City, Bowling Green
No. 53 Brett Nezat, Saraland, Arkansas
No. 113 Sawyer Pate, Thompson, PWO to Auburn
CLASS OF 2019
No. 3 Bo Nix, Pinson Valley, Auburn
# 8 Taulia Tagovailoa, Thompson, Alabama
No. 11 Peter Parrish, Central-Phenix City, LSU
No.12 Paul Tyson, Hewitt-Trussville, Alabama