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ESPN released it’s midseason awards on Tuesday, and the awards definitely make a statement with who they name as the conferences Most Valuable Player so far.

Alabama quarterback and true freshman Jalen Hurts was named the SEC MVP through seven weeks, with ESPN writer Edward Aschoff comparing Hurts to former NFL and Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Vick.

He’s the first true freshman to start at quarterback for Nick Saban and he’s running the zone-read in Tuscaloosa like Mike Vick did in college. Hurts is fifth in the SEC with 1,813 total yards and in the Crimson Tide’s past two wins on the road against ranked SEC opponents, he averaged 8.7 yards per play with seven total touchdowns. He isn’t the best player in this conference, but he’s trending that way and he’s a pro at the offense Saban used to despise, turning it into one of the best zone-read offenses in the nation. Just, wow.

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The emphasis on that quote is mine, and it is there for a good reason. Obviously there is no “real” SEC MVP award, but this is where people get caught up on MVP awards in other sports. Should it be for the “best” player or the “most valuable” player, because people can come up with different answers under those distinctions.

Other players that could be picked for SEC MVP: Texas A&M’s Trevor Knight or Trayveon Williams, Alabama’s Reuben Foster, or Tennessee’s Derek Barnett.

Regardless, Hurts is certainly worthy of recognition. He has been fantastic as Alabama’s quarterback, and his running game gives the Crimson Tide a look that most Nick Saban teams haven’t had before.

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