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Jumbo Package: Will Saban officially name a starting QB before the opener?

Happy Friday, everyone. Alex Scarbrough has an outstanding piece this morning on the Alabama QB battle.

In the end, Alabama lost a 48-45 shootout, but Jones proved something in the process. Call it confidence, moxie, fortitude. He definitely showed maturity. Any illusions about his ability were swept away each time he clawed his way back from a mistake. And his next time out, when he threw for 327 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in a dominant win over Michigan in the Citrus Bowl, he hammered the point home that, yes, he belonged.

“I learned a lot from Tua,” Jones told reporters after putting an exclamation point on his season. “He still helps us out. But it is my team.”

That sounds like a great first chapter to a storybook career, right? The underrated benchwarmer is thrust into the spotlight and becomes a star. The problem? When Jones and Alabama made the return trip to campus, a precocious young quarterback was waiting for him. Bryce Young, a five-star phenom with Tua-level hype, had enrolled in school weeks earlier with no intention of waiting his turn.

We all assume, and are likely correct in doing so, that Mac Jones is going to be the starting QB and eat up all of the non-garbage time reps, but none of us are at practice. Young getting on the field early in the season seems inevitable, but as Scarbrough pointed out there are no early season cupcakes this year to break in a newbie. Back in 2017, Saban emphatically stated that Jalen Hurts was the starting QB in the preseason. Will he do the same for Mac before the opener this season?

Landon Dickerson was asked about the young defenders, and his reply impressed me.

“A lot of the young guys have been doing extremely well, especially the defensive front seven,” said offensive lineman Landon Dickerson on Thursday. “Will Anderson, terrific guy, great athlete. He’s done a lot of great things in practice. Tim Smith, extremely good person, great player. He’s giving good effort. (Jamil) Burroughs, (Jah-Marien) Latham, a lot of those young guys are really starting to get adjusted to college. It does take a little time.

“But I think now, they’ve kind of been in this system for a little bit. We’ve been practicing, and every day, they’ve come out giving good looks, great effort and I really appreciate that.”

I love the fact that he mentions the type of people they are before talking about their play, and focuses on effort. Great leadership from Landon here.

Josh McMillon says he will consider a seventh year.

He could’ve taken that mechanical engineering degree and moved on to lucrative employment. Instead, McMillion made a decision he would later say was easy.

“It was just a bad taste left in my mouth, from the past year,” he said. “Going 11-2, I don’t want to end my college career on a bad note like that. I don’t think anyone who came to the University of Alabama would want to end like this.”

And he might not be done after this fall, either. The NCAA is granting an extra year of eligibility to fall sports athletes playing through the pandemic, and McMillon told AL.com he’s keeping all options open for what would be a seventh season with the program.

“I mean, I want to make the best of all of my opportunities I have,” he said. “It’s definitely being taken into consideration.

He’s clearly a smart fellow. If he can stick around another year and add to his CV, why not?

Thursday Night Football was the Browns vs. the Bengals for some unknown reason, and after Joe Burrow dinked and dunked his way to 316 yards on 61 throws, Mack Wilson consoled him on Twitter.

I’ll leave that for y’all to discuss.

Last, Cade Mays got his waiver from the NCAA.

The NCAA has granted Tennessee offensive lineman Cade Mays a transfer waiver after initially denying his request, Volunteers coach Jeremy Pruitt told reporters after Thursday’s practice.

Mays, who played in all 14 games at Georgia last season before transferring in January, must still receive a waiver from the SEC to play for the Volunteers this season. He is an expected starter on Tennessee’s offensive line if he is eligible.

I guess it’s fair to say that, at this point, Cade and his dad have given UGA the finger.

That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.

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