They're no longer at Alabama, but former Crimson Tide quarterbacks Blake Barnett and Cooper Bateman are in familiar positions as they compete to earn the starting jobs at Arizona State and Utah, respectively. This time, however, both players hope the competitions end and, perhaps more importantly, are handled differently. To be clear, both Barnett and Bateman have a lot of respect for Alabama coach Nick Saban as a football coach, but neither of them were happy with the communication they received last year related to their individual situations. When true freshman Jalen Hurts received the bulk of the playing time in Alabama's season-opening 52-6 win against USC, it caught both players off guard. "Long story short, I was just as surprised as everyone else," Bateman said. "It wasn't really how it was told to me it was going to be." Heading into the game, Barnett said he was under the impression the job was his and Bateman believed he would split time with Barnett, which is what Saban said publicly would be the case the week of the game. That, of course, isn't how it played out. Hurts replaced Barnett after two series against USC and didn't give way to Barnett again until he helped guide the Tide to a 38-3 lead. Looking back, Barnett said he believes the plan was to play Hurts all along. The mop-up duty he and Bateman received did little to quell their frustration, and almost immediately both players thought about transferring.
Nick Saban tactics caught duo by surprise, ex-Bama QBs say
ESPN | Aug 8