Ryan Colson has been one of the brightest young talents in the 2021 recruiting class for the University of Alabama. He was an obvious choice as one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury during the Tide’s bowl game. With his knee injured, many experts had him listed as out for the entire season. However, word leaked out that he would miss the 2021 season due to the injury. This news created quite a stir amongst all the Alabama fans and the expectations for the season immediately following were raised.
The first game that Ryan Colson would miss was the Iron Bowl against LSU. This game would also be the last game that Nick Saban would coach at the University of Alabama. The season was considered a fillip for both teams since they would be playing for the title of national champions. In an obvious sign of disrespect from the Crimson Tide staff, they announced that they would bench their starter in favor of a backup quarterback. The timing of this move seemed questionable considering the fact that both Ryan and Nick were considered as obvious front-runners to win the starting quarterback position. It would have been difficult to bench both of them considering the obvious chemistry that each of them possesses with the other.
The second game that Ryan Colson would miss would be the Cotton Bowl. As expected, the Tide did not perform to expectations in this game and ultimately fell to the eventual winner, Oklahoma State. This would be the end of the year for the Crimson Tide, and the future of Ryan and Nick became a bit cloudy. Even if Ryan were healthy, it is difficult to imagine that he would have played at a high level like he has been during the past two seasons. There are a number of reasons that come into play when discussing whether or not Ryan should have been given a bigger role this past season. However, at the end of the day, there is no debate that Ryan deserved to be a backup quarterback for the Tide.
The third game that Ryan would miss out on would be the Sugar Bowl. This would be one of the most difficult games to miss out on in college football history. Alabama would go on to lose their final five games of the year, all by large margins, to eventual national champs Florida and LSU. It was a great run, but the Tide could not get it done in the end, despite their excellent defense.
So clearly, there is no debate that Ryan is the better player than Nick, but which player holds the steadier of leadership over the program over the two years? It seems that the current crop of athletes clearly holds the reins, and it could very well be Ryan Colson, heading into his senior season. Of course, another question that arises is how long do you think it will take for Ryan to develop into a complete college football player. He has shown enough talent and abilities to play at the next level, but at this time, he just hasn’t developed into the passer that Nickford or USC’s Chad Morris is capable of. If he were eligible today, expect him to begin redshirting and training for the 2021 season, and to start competing with true freshman Cam Newton and others. He has the physical skills and accuracy that make the offense a legitimate threat to victory.
The real question then becomes, does Ryan fit in immediately at Alabama or would another program develop a player suited more to their style? At this time, it appears as if they have done enough to ensure that the short stay of the 2021 season will be quite enough to develop any potential quarterback into a full time starter at some point in the near future. They continue to groom the young guys in the system, developing the most coveted signal caller in college football history in Chase Daniel. They continue to tout the fact that they expect to produce at least one top 5 picks each of the next two years. There are many factors at play, but it appears that it will be quite a few years before we see the first appearance of a true Bama Legend in the NFL.