PHOTO: Alabama's Last 3 Quarterbacks Are Now All Officially NFL Starters
By Jason Hall
August 31, 2021
Amid news of rookie Mac Jones being named the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots, all of the Alabama Crimson Tide's last three starting quarterbacks will open the 2021 NFL season as starters for their respective pro teams.
Additionally, Jones and Tagovailoa will kickoff the season facing each other when the Patriots host the Dolphins at Gillette Stadium Week 1, which will also feature former Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, who was selected by the Dolphins at No. 6 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft
On Tuesday (August 31), the Boston Globe reported the Patriots released former NFL MVP Cam Newton and officially named Jones as their starting quarterback following months of head coach Bill Belichick claiming the job was Newton's to lose.
The news comes days after reports that members of the Patriots organization were frustrated with Newton's COVID-19 protocol situation, which has likely "opened" a window of opportunity for first-round draft pick Jones.
Jones led Alabama to a College Football National Championship and was third in the Heisman voting behind teammate DeVonta Smith and Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence during his lone season as Alabama's full-time starting quarterback.
Jones threw for 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns and four interceptions on 311 of 402 passing -- while also recording one rushing touchdown -- while leading the Crimson Tide to a 13-0 record in 2020.
Jones also made four starts in the absence of Tagovailoa following a season-ending injury in 2019.
Tagovailoa enters his second season with the Dolphins with big expectations after being selected No. 5 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Hawaii native is one of the most decorated players in the history of Alabama football, having won the College Football National Championship and CFP National Championship Offensive MVP as a true freshman, as well as the Maxwell, Walter Camp and SEC Offensive Player of the Year awards, while also being named a Consensus All-American, as a sophomore.
Hurts took over as Alabama's starting quarterback as a true freshman in 2016 before being replaced by Tagovailoa in the second half of the College Football National Championship Game, with Tagovailoa leading the Tide to a comeback overtime victory over the Georgia Bulldogs.
Hurts replaced an injured Tagovailoa during the SEC Championship the following season and led the Tide to victory over the Bulldogs with a strong late game performance, before Tagovailoa returned for the College Football Playoff several weeks later.
Hurts transferred to the University of Oklahoma prior to the 2019 season and was a Heisman Trophy finalist, as well as the Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year and a first team All-Big 12 quarterback during his lone season in Norman.