It’s been more than 14 months since Ty Simpson arrived on campus at Alabama in December 2021, and during that time, the public has seen the Tide’s five-star quarterback throw exactly 17 passes.
Simpson made 12 pass attempts in last April’s spring game, completing five for 43 yards. And in limited game action last season as a freshman, he completed four of his five throws for 35 yards.
Behind closed doors at practice, Alabama players looked more closely at the nation’s third-ranked quarterback in the Class of 2022 by 247 Sports. One of those players, former safety DeMarco Helms, was asked to describe Simpson at the NFL combine on Thursday.
Helms said, “He can play in the pocket, but Ty’s got great speed, which a lot of people don’t know about.” “He definitely has a little bit of, I would say, a bit of Pat Mahomes in him, a little bit, the way he can extend plays and still see his eyes down the field.”
The departure of Bryce Young has opened up a competition between Jalen Milroy, who will be entering his third season, and Simpson, entering his second season, to start in the fall.
“I expect it to be a great quarterback contest [and] One big offense, no matter who’s running it,” Helms said. “Two competitive guys. He definitely has his own style of play. But he definitely has a great leadership ability, great playing ability, and he’ll definitely be good.”
Young, who was Alabama’s most recent five-star quarterback commitment prior to Simpson, served as the primary backup to Mack Jones as a freshman in 2020 and attempted 22 passes during Alabama’s undefeated season. It’s been a long time since I saw the time to play the game. Simpson’s opportunities as the No. 3 last season were much more limited, but he made a “wonderful” look at the defense on the scout team, according to former safety Jordan Battle this week at the NFL combine.
Added former safety Brian Branch: “Ty Simpson is a great quarterback. I feel like he’s accurate, great decision maker. He’s elusive. He can get up and out of the pocket fast. I think That a lot of good things are going to happen to him in the next few years.”
Miller entered Alabama’s game at Arkansas last October when Young injured his shoulder, then started the following week against Texas A&M. Aggies safety Antonio Johnson played against Young in 2021 and Miller in 2022 and explained his approach to each on Thursday.
“Bryce Young is a great quarterback, a very smart quarterback and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes,” Johnson said. “We knew we had to make him uncomfortable, so we made him nervous. It was our way of trying to stop him as much as we could.
“The difference was, the quarterback at Alabama this year was very athletic. We knew that, and he was a good quarterback overall. We knew we just had to try to stop him as much as we could. That was about it.” .
Milroy, who had a 77-yard run against Arkansas, rushed 17 times for 81 yards against the Aggies. He completed 12 of 19 passes for 111 yards, three touchdowns and one interception while being sacked four times. He appeared briefly in three more games last season, with his most significant action coming in November against Austin Peay, when he was intercepted once on four passes.
Helms said, “Jalen, I don’t know if you all know, he’s definitely worked hard on his passing abilities.” “Worked hard to be persistent, developed myself as a leader. He’s certainly never shied away from wanting to be better, so I have a feeling he will.
Battle praised both Simpson and Miller for the “fire” and “energy” they showed in practice.
“They both love the game of football, you can tell,” he said. “Jalen Milroy: Very loyal guy. He’s my boy. He’s actually one of my little brothers I call him, he and Terrion Arnold were my friends when I was there. The progress Jalen has made I love the progress Ty has made. … I think he has a great future ahead of him.
Alabama begins spring practice later this month, with its spring game scheduled for April 22.
“Two great quarterbacks,” Branch said. “The best wins.”
Mike Rodak is the Alabama beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. follow him on twitter @mikerodak,