Tide Quarterback Position Analysis

This is a look at the Alabama quarterback situation heading into the 2009 Crimson Tide football season. Although other quarterback candidates, including Morgan Ogilvie, this analysis focuses on the three who have the most practice snaps, plus one incoming quarterback.

Greg McElroy
Southlake-Carroll, Texas

Greg McElroy is a 4th year junior out of the powerhouse Texas 5A program. At 6-2, 220, McElroy gives Alabama good height and a very serviceable arm. Based on film and personal observations he has the talent and ability to be a heady quarterback.

While one pass is never considered a harbinger of things to come, the Marquis Maze touchdown versus Auburn in mop up duty showed Tide fans McElroy has the talent and ability to connect on the deep route and place the ball in a select pocket of space.

While McElroy won't 'wow' you with his straight line speed or lateral quickness he is an athletic prospect who can use his legs to help stretch a play.

Growing pains are expected. McElroy's ability to manage the offense smoothly and make wise decisions in the passing game could make or break Alabama's offense in 2009.

McElroy played in eight games in his UA career and completed 16-of-20 (80-percent) passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns in a reserve role during the last two seasons.

McElroy threw his first touchdown pass in his 2007 debut against Western Carolina. He connected with Marquis Maze for a 34-yard touchdown against Auburn in 2008.

McElroy saw action in six games in 2008. He threw for 123 yards on 8-of-11 passing with one interception completing 72.7 per cent of his passes.

The Lone Star State product played in 2007 as a redshirt freshman in wins over Western Carolina and Tennessee. He completed 8-of-9 passes for 73 yards and one touchdown, all against Western Carolina.

McElroy's first career touchdown pass was a one-yard pass to tight end Nick Walker in the third quarter of the Western Carolina game.

McElroy lead the crimson team to victory 14-7 over the white team in the Tide's 2009 A-Day game. He was 16-of-30 for 189 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Star Jackson
Lake Worth, Fla.
Star Jackson was a highly touted senior quarterback prospect. He enters summer and fall workouts the No. 2 QB with a lot to learn in terms of managing the offense, reading defenses, mental preparation, and mechanics, as illustrated by his performance in the A-Day game.

Star Jackson
Jackson constitutes the most mobile QB on Alabama's roster with his style predicated on a mix of pocket passing and using athleticism to stretch plays. He has the arm strength to make any throw on the field.

Jackson still has plenty of time to acclimate to SEC speed and learn the nuances of running a D1 offense. He was 4-of-13 for 52 yards and two interceptions in the 2009 A-Day game.

Jackson completed 97-of-180 passes for 1,677 yards during his senior season of high school. He threw 13 touchdown passes and only three interceptions.

Jackson was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl All-Star game in San Antonio in January 2008.

AJ McCarron
St. Paul's (Mobile)

AJ McCarron

AJ McCarron enters the 2009 season a true freshman with the ability to supplant Jackson or Thomas Darrah for the No. 2 spot.

Weight concerns and mental development are key issues in his aspirations of earning a starting SEC QB position. McCarron stands 6-4, 197 and offers an excellent pocket passing skill set.

His arm strength and passing talent should be catalysts in his continued development. He has the ability to connect on all the necessary passes including quick seam passes, fly routes, fade routes, angles, hot routes, and quick reads.

McCarron was the only quarterback taken in the 2009 class. He was a U.S. Army All-American and a four-star prospect by Scout.com. McCarron was a two-time 5A All-State selection and named MVP of the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Classic.
McCarron threw for 6,066 yards and 66 touchdowns with only nine interceptions as a three-year starter.

Thomas Darrah
Newnan, Ga.

Thomas Darrah
Thomas Darrah is a walk-on athlete who offers great size at 6-5, and a strong arm. Practice analysis and A-Day observations leads one to believe Darrah has a significant amount of room to improve if he wants to solidify a position as the No. 2 quarterback over the other contenders.

Darrah was 8-of-14 for 110 yards with a touchdown in the Tide's 2008 A-Day against the second team defense. Darrah was 8-of-22 for 113 yards in the 2009 A-Day game.

Jonathan Franco contributed to this report.

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