There’s no shortage of anticipation to see what quarterback Bryce Young can do for the Crimson Tide.

After seeing limited time in cleanup duty as a freshman in 2020, Young has the opportunity to prove himself in a much greater role over the course of his sophomore season with Alabama’s starting quarterback spot open.

He’s projected to be the starter when the Crimson Tide play at Miami to open the 2021 season on Sept. 4. He’s a former five-star recruit, so expectations are anything but low. But that doesn’t mean he will play immaculately right away.

What’s realistic for him this season? Alabama first-year starting quarterbacks in the past under coach Nick Saban might offer a glimpse of Young's future. 

Here’s a look at how each one fared in their first season as a starter, defined as a quarterback who served as QB1 for at least half the season. It’s not the season in which a quarterback first saw game action or received a start. So, players such as Blake Barnett and Cooper Bateman are not included.


Greg McElroy

Season: 2009

Passing stats: Completed 198 of 325 pass attempts (60.9%) for 2,508 yards, 17 touchdowns, four interceptions and a long of 80 yards.

Rushing stats: 54 attempts for 83 yards, a 1.5 average, and one touchdown.

Record: 14-0

National championship: Yes


AJ McCarron

Season: 2011

Passing stats: Completed 219 of 328 pass attempts (66.8%) for 2,634 yards, 16 touchdowns, five interceptions and a long of 69 yards.

Rushing stats: 30 attempts for -22 yards, a -0.7 average, and two touchdowns.