Jones, a redshirt junior, started four games last season when former quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was injured. He threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions during a 35-16 win over Michigan in the Citrus Bowl.
From Oct. 25 on, Jones posted the second-highest QBR (92.7) in the country behind only Joe Burrow, who won the Heisman Trophy and was selected with the first pick in the NFL draft.
“Mac has had a really good camp,” Saban said. “Really played well in the last scrimmage. Did a good job of taking the leadership role. I think he’s playing with a lot of confidence.”
Jones beat out Bryce Young, a former five-star prospect who enrolled early and has drawn positive reviews from coaches and teammates during preseason practice.
Young and Paul Tyson, the great grandson of legendary former Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, will share the backup duties.
“He’s going to be a great quarterback,” wideout DeVonta Smith said of Young last month. “With him not having a spring and just coming during the summer, he learns quick. I like what I’m seeing. He’s ready.”