Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Blake Barnett is set to transfer after losing the starting job early in the season.
Following the redshirt freshman’s withdrawal from the program, Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee provided an official statement from head coach Nick Saban on Thursday:
Matt Zenitz of AL.com first reported the signal-caller’s plan to leave the program Wednesday.
Alabama head coach responded to Barnett’s decision, via ESPN.com:
“I think some of these young guys that have these high expectations sometimes given by no fault of their own – whether the media makes them the best quarterback and the expectation is when they come to Alabama that they have immediate success and be a starter. “When that doesn’t happen, you fear the future. ‘Am I going to fail in the future? Am I going to have an opportunity to make it in the future?'”
Barnett started the team’s Week 1 game against the USC Trojans and went a respectable 5-of-6 for 100 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. However, true freshman Jalen Hurts also performed well, took over the starting job and led the Crimson Tide to a 4-0 start.
Through four games, Barnett was 11-of-19 for 219 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions, though most of his playing time came after games had been decided.
The California native was a 5-star prospect in 2015 and the No. 2 quarterback in the class behind only UCLA star Josh Rosen, according to Scout.com. The 6’5″ passer has a strong arm and good accuracy, though he lacks Hurts’ playmaking ability.
Aaron Suttles of the Tuscaloosa News praised Barnett during his brief appearance Saturday against the Kent State Golden Flashes:
With Hurts being a freshman, Barnett will look for an opportunity to start elsewhere. Despite his limited playing time, teams will be willing to take a chance on a former 5-star prospect.
Junior Cooper Bateman, who has thrown four passes this season, will likely become the new No. 2 quarterback for Alabama.
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