Ex-Alabama QB Blake Barnett eligible to play at beginning of season at Arizona State

Dr. Saturday
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/players/252251/" data-ylk="slk:Blake Barnett">Blake Barnett</a> said he was heading to ASU in December. (Getty)
Blake Barnett said he was heading to ASU in December. (Getty)

Blake Barnett could open the season as Arizona State’s starting quarterback.

Barnett started Alabama’s season-opener vs. USC in 2016. He was surpassed in that game by quarterback Jalen Hurts, who went on to start every game the rest of the season for the Tide.

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Barnett only stayed with the Tide through September and announced his decision to transfer in October. Per NCAA rules, undergraduate transfers have to sit out a calendar year before being eligible to play again. Tuesday, Barnett found out he would be eligible at the start of the season after his appeal was granted by the NCAA.

His departure from Alabama in the middle of the season might have made some Alabama fans (and coach Nick Saban) unhappy, but it certainly paid off. Had Barnett sat behind Hurts for the entire season, there was no chance he’d get to play in 2017.

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Barnett committed to Arizona State in December and his offensive coordinator is a coach he had at Alabama. Over the weekend. Arizona State hired former Alabama wide receivers coach Billy Napier to be the team’s offensive coordinator.

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A former four-star recruit, Barnett was the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2015 according to Rivals. Now that he’s immediately eligible at Arizona State, he’ll compete for the starting job with Manny Wilkins, Brady White and Dillon Sterling-Cole. All three of Barnett’s competitors logged significant time at quarterback for the Sun Devils in 2016.

Wilkins was the team’s leading passer with 2,329 yards, 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Sterling-Cole threw for 388 yards a touchdown and four interceptions while White threw for 259 yards, two touchdowns and a pick.

Arizona State opens the season vs. New Mexico State on Aug. 31.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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