14 July 2008
Greg McElroy - #12 - QB - 6'3 - 218 lbs. - Southlake Texas - Carroll HS - No Varsity LettersWith John Parker Wilson's inconsistencies at the QB position in 2007, many fans began to demand playing time for Greg. In the spring he changed numbers, being given the hallowed #12, worn by legendary Bama QBs Pat Trammel, Joe Namath, Ken Stabler & Brodie Croyle. Many fans saw this as a sign that Greg was prepared to ascend to that level of greatness and seize the starting Quarterback job in the spring. That didn't happen. Greg did not lose his position as the Tide's #2 QB, but he also didn't gain any ground on Wilson. In the A-Day game he finished 12 of 26 with 196 yards, 1 TD and 1 bad INT into triple coverage in the end zone. He also never looked comfortable. Greg is probably the most cerebral of Bama's QBs. To this point, however, he hasn't been able to parlay the mental side of the game into physical success. Yes, he was 8 of 9 passing on the season, but that all came against Western Carolina in garbage time of what ended up being a 52-6 Bama win. He didn't see action again until the Tennessee game, where he got a few snaps at the end of the game. 2008 Prospectus: This will be an important year for Greg. Unlike last season where incoming Freshman Nick Fannuzi didn't push him, this year he'll be dealing with Star Jackson, who is expected to make a strong run for the #2 position. With Wilson a Senior, the #2 QB this year will presumably have a leg up on the other QBs to be the starter going into the 2009 Spring Practice season. If Greg wants to be the starting QB at Alabama at some point in his career, this is the year that he has to make a huge leap forward. Nick Saban has been quoted saying that "Bama fans should hope and pray that John Parker Wilson does not get hurt," an indication that the coaching staff realizes the great gap between Wilson and the other QBs. Greg has to close that gap now, or he will find himself behind Star Jackson come the beginning of next year's spring drills. This is nothing new for Greg, however. He spent most of his High School career as backing up star QB Chase Daniel (now the QB at Missouri). It wasn't until his Senior season that he was given the reigns to the powerful Southlake Carroll dynasty. Having only been a starting QB for one season means that Greg is extremely inexperienced in comparison to most incoming college QBs. Because of that he lacks that intangible that you see in great QBs: that special something that really only comes from the experiencing consistent success. And while Greg and Southlake Carroll had a good season in 2005, one year is just not enough. While Greg is a very capable backup QB - a guy who can run the offense for a series or two if the starter is injured - he has not shown the ability to be an SEC starting QB. With the way that Nick Saban is recruiting QBs, the depth chart will only get more talented. Star Jackson was a participant in the Elite 11 QB Showcase last year, and 2009 Bama commitment AJ McCarron has been selected to participate in this year's Elite 11. The phrase "now or never" seems to be applicable in this situation. If Greg doesn't take advantage of his experience in having been a part of this football team for 2 full years and put a stranglehold on the #2 QB position during 2008, he will likely find it very difficult to take the starting job in 2009. If he isn't the starting QB for Bama's opener in 2009, he might never find himself in that role.
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