On Wednesday evening Alabama head coach Nick Saban said he had heard nothing about the possibility of second-string quarterback Blake Barnett’s transfer.
Just one day later, the coach has confirmed Barnett’s departure and has expressed some negative emotions about the whole situation.
“We received word this afternoon that Blake Barnett has officially withdrawn from school and is no longer with our program,” said Saban. “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 started in Alabama’s season opener against USC but was then replaced by Jalen Hurts, who has taken most of the snaps this season. Hurts and Barnett are both freshman, which may be the reason why Barnett does not see a future with the team.
This is the fourth Crimson Tide quarterback to transfer in the last two years.
Saban expressed his disdain for mid-season transfers on his weekly radio show.
“It’s one of those things where I think the culture has changed a little bit,” Saban said.
“There’s certain pride people have in competition. There’s certain things I was taught growing up about not quitting and seeing things through. I think if I’d come home and told my dad that I was going to quit the team, I think he’d have kicked me out of the house. I don’t think I’d have had a place to stay. Sometimes you didn’t have the choices.”
Redshirt junior Cooper Bateman has now moved up and filled the No. 2 QB spot vacated by Barnett.
Bateman was the second-string QB behind Jake Coker in the 2015 season.