There’s a competitive quarterback race unfolding as No. 4 Alabama prepares for the regular season. Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson are the primary options for the starting spot but an intriguing backup could also see some action later in the season, according to Greg McElroy.

McElroy updated the quarterback race after attending a recent Alabama practice.

Milroe appears to have the upper hand at the moment based on McElroy’s intel, but the decision is fluid.

“Barring something completely unforeseen, it will be Milroe probably to start the first game, Ty Simpson to come off the bench in the first game,” McElroy said. “Roll those 2 and figure out who plays best in that first game then you what you’ve got heading into Texas.”

McElroy also touched on the backups with Dylan Lonergan gaining extra second-team reps.

“Tyler Buchner did get some reps with the 1s, but not a ton. It’s really mostly the 2s,” McElroy said. “Dylan Lonergan is also now getting some reps with the 2s. Meanwhile, Eli Holstein is running mostly with the 3s right now on the other field.”

Lonergan isn’t quite ready for the spotlight of first-team action but McElroy made an interesting comparison with a former Alabama quarterback now in the NFL.

“I’ve been told that he’s had a really nice camp. They’re really pleased with him. When he is going against top-level guys, meaning the ones, the game’s a little fast,” McElroy said. “You shouldn’t panic with that because the game was a little fast early on with Tua Tagovailoa as well, which is why Tua Tagovailoa as a true freshman didn’t play until the second half of the national championship game.”

McElroy is hearing that Lonergan could find his way onto the field at some stretch later in the regular season.

“I was also told that Lonergan in time if he continues to play the way he’s playing and continues to get comfortable within the system and continues to progress, it would not be completely out of the realm of possibility that we could see him in meaningful action this year but it will not be early,” McElroy said.