Alabama Crimson Tide opening night starting quarterback Blake Barnett has decided to leave the program and will be transferring, after losing his starting spot to freshman Jalen Hurts. Barnett drew the start under center on opening night against USC in a game the Crimson Tide would go on to win 52-6, but he would be replaced by Hurts midway through the contest.
Barnett played in three games for the Crimson Tide prior to his decision to leave, which was made on Wednesday, going 11-for-19 for 219 yards with two touchdowns.
After redshirting, the signal caller came into 2016 knowing he would be in a battle for the starting quarterback spot alongside both Hurts and junior Cooper Bateman. A former five-star recruit out of Santiago High School in Corona, California, Barnett was rated as the No. 2 pro-style quarterback in the 2015 recruiting class, behind only UCLA’s starting quarterback Josh Rosen. He was rated higher than Deondre Francois (Florida State), Jake Browning (Washington) and Brett Rypien (Boise State), all of whom have secured starting spots for their teams.
For what it’s worth, the crystal ball predictions from 247sports.com favored Barnett choosing the Oregon Ducks over the Crimson Tide. The Ducks have had FCS transfers become their starting quarterback for two consecutive seasons and current signal caller Dakota Prukop will have exhausted his eligibility following this season.
Prior to committing to Alabama, Barnett had signed on to join the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. He was committed for seven months, but then soon switched to Alabama, where he would enroll shortly after.