Alabama Redshirt Freshman Could Have Similar Trajectory to Mac Jones

Alabama redshirt freshman quarterback Ty Simpson could see a slow burn to the Crimson Tide starting signal-caller role — with a similar career trajectory to Mac Jones possible according to Roll Bama Roll’s Erik Evans.

Evans explained that Simpson’s physical prowess was behind his passing profile in 2022, relaying that it wasn’t the biggest problem for the coaching staff. “Simpson had been praised for adroitly picking up the playbook, and physically he was ready,” Evans prefaced before saying, “But it’s a demanding position, and he simply wasn’t ready to assume the mantle. No shame in that.”

Evans then floated Jones’ trajectory for a projection of where Simpson could be after several years of development. “It took Mac Jones almost four years to be a quality starter, and it was not until his 5th year that we saw a superstar, continuing a trend of older veteran QBs who grow into stardom,” he wrote.

Ty Simpson May Not Need as Much Time As Mac Jones

Simpson does not have the type of competition Jones had in his second and third seasons at the collegiate level. While Simpson had Bryce Young in front of him on the depth chart in his redshirt season, he only has Jalen Milroe ahead of him now. Jones, meanwhile, had to contend with Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa his first three years in Tuscaloosa — and then had a freshman Young behind him during his one year as a starter in 2020.

Evans foresees Simpson not needing as much time as Jones did to be up to speed. “I don’t think anyone expects it to take years for Ty to be ready to helm the offense,” Evans wrote. “(Simpson) was playing and processing at a different level in the bowl practices and offseason drills than he had been earlier in the season, so he’s already getting there.”

To Evans, Simpson is the quarterback the coaching staff wants to win the starting job in 2023. “If you put a gun to the coaching staffs’ heads, in a moment of candor they’d probably admit they want to see Simpson claim the QB1 job with a no-doubt offseason of quality practices and a crisp, efficient spring game,” he wrote.

Eli Holstein Akin to a “Stronger Mac Jones”

Simpson wasn’t the only Alabama quarterback to be compared to Jones. Eli Holstein, a Zachary High School product from Louisiana, is “akin to a stronger Mac Jones” according to Evans.

“He makes 45-50 air yards look effortless, as though there’s plenty left in reserve — and those balls get there in a hurry too,” Evans prefaced before saying, “But it’s not just the distance and zip, he has incredible touch on those downfield shots, much akin to a stronger-armed Mac Jones.”

Holstein’s willingness to make contact with defenders in the ground game garnered another comparison from Evans: Bengals star Joe Burrow.

“You can see many defenders making a business decision downfield to stay “blocked” rather than taking a head-on collision with a guy that outweighs them by 75 pounds,” Evans prefaced before saying, “You know who he reminds you of in that respect? Joe Burrow, another big kid who loved the middle of the field and trucking defenders.”

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