Alabama coach Nick Saban confirmed Thursday that five-star quarterback Blake Barnett has left the Alabama football program.
“We received word this afternoon that Blake Barnett has officially withdrawn from school and is no longer with our program,” the Crimson Tide coach said. “The quarterback position is a very unique position where only one player can play. We are very disappointed any time a player leaves the program who feels he can compete for a starting position elsewhere, rather than here at Alabama. We wish Blake the very best of luck in the future.”
Barnett was a five-star prospect in the 2015 recruiting class, but he was still considered a freshman this season due to a redshirt. He spent this past offseason in a quarterback battle for the starting role, and even though he won the job and took the first few snaps on opening day against USC, Jalen Hurts has played a majority of the snaps under center since then.
Hurts was a four-star dual-threat quarterback recruit in the 2016 class, so due to the fact he also has three more years of eligibility left at Alabama too, Barnett has decided to compete for a starting role somewhere else.
He has received some backlash due to this decision because it was initially believed that he would have to sit out the 2017 season, but that may not be the case. It’s at least possible that Barnett will be able to play at a four-year college next season due to the timing of his transfer.
Barnett had offers from Notre Dame, Michigan, Ole Miss, Oregon, UCLA and many other schools two years ago.