Ranking the Top 5 Quarterbacks of the Nick Saban era

When Nick Saban won his first few national titles with the Alabama Crimson Tide it was through the ground game and with a great defense. But, the most impressive thing about Coach Saban is his willingness to adapt to the times.

As the game has evolved so has Saban. He has always rolled with the punches. In the midst of his dynasty, Saban realized the importance of the quarterback position and has pivoted to leaning more on the position in recent years as opposed to his old-fashioned coaching style.

A lot of guys have flourished and won national titles under Saban, but which five have been the best to grace Bryant-Denny Stadium?

AJ McCarron

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Although McCarron wasn’t the first quarterback to win a title under Saban, he was the first to really lead a dangerous passing attack. He won back-to-back national titles in 2011 and 2012 and was good for 8,630 yards, 74 touchdowns and only 15 interceptions during his three years as a starter. In his final season with the Tide, he was the Heisman runner-up. He remains the all-time leader in Alabama passing yards.

Jalen Hurts

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Jalen Hurts changed the way Alabama played offense due to his ability to make plays with his legs. He led the Tide to back-to-back national title appearances in 2016 and 2017 and was the SEC Offensive Player of the Year as a freshman. He accounted for 61 total touchdowns in his two years as a starter for the Tide before transferring to Oklahoma and finishing runner-up in the Heisman. Jalen will forever be an Alabama legend.

Mac Jones

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Despite only starting one year for Alabama, Mac Jones quarterbacked the 2020 Crimson Tide to a national championship as part of arguably the greatest team of all time. Mac rode the bench for three years behind Hurts and Tagovailoa, but when he got his chance he shined completing an NCAA all-time record of 77.4% of his passes, as well as 4,500 yards 41 touchdowns and only four interceptions.

Tua Tagovailoa

(AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Tua is the all-time leader in Alabama passing touchdowns with 87, but it’s hard to truly describe the impact he made on the University of Alabama. Second and 26 is what comes to mind most often, but the offenses he led were record breaking and unprecedented. Tua lead the Tide to a national title appearance in 2018 and finished runner-up in the Heisman before suffering a season ending injury in 2019. In his three years in Tuscaloosa he accumulated 7,442  yards, a 69.3% completion percentage, 87 touchdowns and only 11 picks.

Bryce Young

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The only University of Alabama quarterback to ever win the Heisman trophy, Bryce Young. Young broke the records for most passing yards and touchdowns in a season with 4,872 yards and 47 touchdowns. Young led the Tide to a national title appearance in 2021 and will likely be the top-five overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft.

Story originally appeared on Roll Tide Wire