Alabama names Mac Jones starting quarterback ahead of first game

Jones stepped in for Tua Tagovailoa in the middle of the 2019 season

When Alabama kicks off its 2020 college football season against Missouri on Saturday, Mac Jones will be the starting quarterback.

Jones, a junior, was named the starter over freshman Bryce Young on Monday. Jones took over the starting role last season after Tua Tagovailoa went down with a season-ending hip injury. Alabama coach Nick Saban said that Jones showed improvement during the preseason.

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“I think the players around him know how important it is for them to do their job so the quarterback can function effectively,” Saban said, according to AL.com.

“I think it’s going to be a combination of all the guys we have because we do have some experienced players on offense that are very capable of doing things the right way, so it makes it a little easier for the quarterback.”

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Jones’ No. 1 wide receiver DeVonta Smith complimented the quarterback last month.

“He's going to be a great quarterback,” Smith said, according to ESPN. “With him not having a spring and just coming during the summer, he learns quick. I like what I'm seeing. He's ready.”

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Jones stepped in for Tagovailoa in the middle of the 2019 season. He recorded 1,503 passing yards and 14 touchdown passes in 11 games. He also led Alabama to a 35-14 Citrus Bowl win over Michigan.