Should Jalen Hurts transfer from Alabama he certainly would not be the first quarterback in the Nick Saban era to have vacated his locker at Bryant-Denny Stadium in favor of continuing his career elsewhere.
Hurts would be the 12th signal caller to leave since Saban took charge of the Crimson Tide’s sideline in 2007. He would also be the most decorated as 28 career starts and a pair of national championship game appearances would attest. Hence, all the attention it has received.
As for the 11 QBs that transferred, here is a look at the years they were in Tuscaloosa at how they fared after leaving.
Jimmy Barnes | Seasons at Alabama: 2005-06
Both his seasons at Alabama were under Mike Shula, though Barnes transferred on Saban’s watch in June 2007. A redshirt in his first season, Barnes threw for 45 yards against FIU in the only game he appeared in ’06. He took his game to the FCS level at Weber State, where he was able to play without sitting out a year. In his lone season with the Wildcats he appeared in three games with two starts and completed 34% of his passes for 299 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Nick Fanuzzi | Seasons at Alabama: 2007
Fanuzzi played against Western Carolina in Saban’s Alabama coaching debut and did not figure statistically. That was the extent of his playing experience. The San Antonio native and son of an SEC quarterback (Mike Fanuzzi, Kentucky) left the Crimson Tide in the spring of 2008 to return to his home state and play for Rice. After sitting out the year as a transfer, Fanuzzi threw for 4,402 yards and 29 touchdowns in three seasons as a starter.
Star Jackson | Seasons at Alabama: 2008-09
Following a redshirt year, Jackson got into five games the next season and threw for 116 yards. He transferred to Georgia State and was immediately eligible to play in 2010 for Bill Curry’s Panthers, who kicked off their inaugural season at the FCS level. Jackson attempted only 10 passes in four games that year and left the Atlanta-based campus the following spring. Jackson’s career ended where it began as he completed his only pass for five yards and ran for 10 yards in the 2010 season finale at Alabama, where Curry coached 1987-90.
Phillip Sims | Seasons at Alabama: 2010-11
After redshirting his initial season at Alabama, Sims got into eight games as A.J. McCarron’s backup in 2011 and threw for 163 yards. He transferred to his home state in 2012 to play for Virginia and be closer to his family. Because of his father’s heart condition, Sims was granted a medical hardship waiver that allowed him to play immediately. He made four starts for coach Mike London’s Cavaliers and threw for 1,263 yards and nine touchdowns. That would be his lone season in Charlottesville, however, as Sims was suspended after being ruled academically ineligible. He left UVA and while he might have returned to Alabama, Sims finished his career at Division II Winston-Salem State. He sat out the 2013 season before leading the Rams to a 9-2 record in 2014.
Phillip Ely | Seasons at Alabama: 2011-12
The Florida native got into six games in 2012 (four passes) after redshirting his first year in Tuscaloosa. Ely transferred to Toledo where he had to sit out the 2013 season. He earned the starting job in 2014, but tore a labrum and an ACL against Missouri in season’s second game and was sidelined for the duration. Ely was the Rockets’ starter in 2015 and threw for 2,965 yards and 23 TDs while leading the team to a 10-2 mark. He petitioned the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility and was denied.
Alec Morris | Seasons at Alabama: 2012-15
The native Texan spent four seasons in Tuscaloosa and won more national championships (2) than he attempted passes (1). Morris transferred to North Texas, which is about an hour from his hometown. As a graduate student, he was eligible to play immediately and started four of the seven games he played for the Mean Green in 2016. He threw for 1,126 yards and nine touchdowns with seven picks.
Luke Del Rio | Seasons at Alabama: 2013
The son of former NFL player and coach Jack Del Rio was an early enrollee who walked on and redshirted as a freshman. After one year Del Rio transferred to Oregon State where he was eligible to play right away because of his walk-on status at ‘Bama. He played three games for the Beavers in 2014 and threw for 141 yards. Del Rio then returned to the SEC to play for Florida where he had to sit out the 2015 season as a transfer. He earned the 2016 starting job in fall camp and battled injuries while throwing for 1,358 yards with eight TDs and eight INTs in six games. He played two games last season before and injury ended his career.
Parker McLeod | Seasons at Alabama: 2013
After redshirting in his lone season at Alabama, McLeod transferred to Western Kentucky where he sat out 2014 as a transfer. He never played for the Hilltoppers and wound up at Georgia where he was a student only in 2015 before attempting to connect with the Bulldogs as a walk-on in 2016. He did not make coach Kirby Smart’s roster. Smart was the defensive coordinator during McLeod’s lone season with the Crimson Tide.
Cooper Bateman | Seasons at Alabama: 2013-16
Like Morris, Bateman spent four years with the Crimson Tide before transferring as a graduate student. Following a redshirt season, he appeared in 44 games, mostly as a holder on special teams. Bateman’s lone career start was against Ole Miss in 2015 and during his time at Alabama, he completed 74.2 % of his passes for 410 yards with two TDs and a pair of picks. He walked on at Utah last season and did not appear in any games.
David Cornwell | Seasons at Alabama: 2014-16
His lone game action came during 2016 season, though he did not attempt a pass. Cornwell transferred to Nevada for the 2017 season. His only appearance was in relief against Washington State in the Wolfpack’s fourth game. He threw for 97 yards and three interceptions. Three days later he announced he was leaving and has not resurfaced on the college football landscape.
Blake Barnett | Seasons at Alabama: 2015-16
Both quarterbacks who played in Alabama’s 2016 opener against USC in Arlington, Tex. could be gone by the time 2018 kicks off. Barnett was a redshirt freshman when he started that game and combined with a true freshman to throw three touchdown passes in routing the Trojans. While Jalen Hurts, who threw two of the TD passes, has since played in two national championship games, Barnett left Tuscaloosa in the middle of that season and enrolled at Palomar College in his home state of California. That allowed him to transfer to Arizona State and be eligible to play in 2017. Alas, he threw only five passes while watching Manny Wilkins start for the Sun Devils. Now as a graduate transfer at USF, which is looking to replace Quinton Flowers, Barnett will compete for the Bulls’ starting job effective fall camp.