Tidepool – Nick Saban is happy to add me Alabama at quarterback
Nick Saban generally likes to add a quarterback every recruiting season. Even though Alabama would lose the best passer in program history this offseason, the Crimson Tide decided to double down on position in the current cycle.
Alabama signed two quarterbacks on Wednesday, adding four-star talents Eli Holstein and Dylan Lonergan to a unit set to lose NFL quarterback Bryce Young.
Holstein ranks as the No. 10 professional quarterback and No. 110 player overall in the country. The 6-foot-4, 222-pound Zachary will have a great season completing 65.2% of his passes for 2,153 yards and 22 touchdowns with just three interceptions while adding 505 yards and nine more points on the ground. Over three years as a collegiate junior, he threw for a total of 5,720 yards and 54 touchdowns with 11 interceptions while accumulating 1,037 yards and 23 scores with his legs.
Lonergan, the No. 12 professional quarterback and No. 235 player overall in the country, plans to play football and baseball at Alabama. Finished in Snellville, Ga. At 6-foot-2 and 198 pounds, he completed his high school career with 9,717 total yards and 100 total touchdowns (75 passing and 25 rushing). He can also hit 87-90 mph from the throw hill with a high level wrecking ball.
“Obviously, we’re happy with both men,” Saban said Wednesday. “They’ve both been on successful shows. We know a lot about them. They’re great people. I think they have really good potential.”
Alabama has had mixed results with several passers signing in the same class. The famous Crimson Tide added a pair of future first-round picks Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones in the class of 2017. Both passers went on to set program records before leaving for the NFL. Alabama had much less success in 2019 when it signed Taulia Tagovailoa and Paul Tyson. Taulia transferred to Maryland in 2020 while Tyson moved to Arizona State for the most recent season before moving to Clemson this week.
With Young set to depart, Holstein and Lonergan will make up one-half of Alabama’s four-man quarterback room where they will join returning passers Jalen Melrow and Ty Simpson. Alabama made it through last season with three scholarship quarterbacks and already has the commitment of five-star recruit Julian Sain in the class of 2024. However, with transitions becoming the norm in today’s college football landscape, it’s better to have an overstock at center rather than Who left him empty-handed.
“I think with this day and age, you really want to make sure when you know the guys basically to leave your team whenever they want that you have enough players in every position and that they want to be the kind of guy that he wants to develop at that time,” Saban said. I think both guys are very committed to that. So I mean, other than that, they’re the kind of guys we want, and I think they fit the profile of what we need in the position.”
Holstein is already in Alabama to help the Crimson Tide prepare for its Sugar Bowl game against Kansas State on December 31. He will also be on hand for spring camp where he will compete with Milroe and Simpson for the starting spot.
Lonergan will join the team this summer after his senior season of baseball at Brookwood High School. The right-handed pitcher is also a frontrunner on the diamond and may have a tough decision ahead of him after next year’s MLB draft in July.
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