Jones, a redshirt junior, started four games last season when Tua Tagovailoa was injured. Jones threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions during a 35-16 win over Michigan in the Citrus Bowl.
"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."