Well, it’s official. According to multiple reports, Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts has entered the NCAA’s transfer portal and will leave Tuscaloosa as a graduate transfer for the 2019 college football season. After a tumultuous final season with the Tide, the former Alabama star leaves head coach Nick Saban’s program a larger-than-life hero.
Hurts could’ve left and abandoned his teammates with a personal vendetta to spite an Alabama football team that turned to sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to begin the year. Yet, Jalen Hurts stayed, and his incredible legacy is going to be hard to top, even for a Heisman Trophy runner-up.
Back in January 2016, a young kid from Houston, Texas arrived in Tuscaloosa.
Jalen Hurts was a unanimous four-star prospect and rated as the No. 1 dual threat quarterback in the nation by 247Sports. During his time playing for head coach Averion Hurts, who is also Jalen’s father, at Channelview High School, Hurts earned Texas District 21-6A MVP honors as both a junior and senior.
After posting 4,929 passing yards and 47 touchdown passes to go along with 2,342 rushing yards and 44 rushing touchdowns in his final two seasons of high school football, Hurts passed on Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Florida to join the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide.
After leading his team to the 2017 College Football Playoff national championship game against Clemson, then doing it again the following year against the Georgia Bulldogs, Hurts laid the foundation for his iconic run with Alabama.
With a 26-2 record as a starting quarterback, including winning SEC Offensive Player of the Year as a freshman, he was benched in the second half of the 2018 CFP Title Game in favor of an unknown freshman named Tua Tagovailoa.
Well, I think you know what happened next.
Despite being passed over for the starting job last year in favor of Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts remained with his team. Then, after Tagovailoa went down with an injury in the SEC Championship Game, Hurts’ crowning moment had arrived. He mounted a comeback with 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning 15-yard touchdown run to deliver the Crimson Tide the conference championship in a performance for the ages.
After completing his undergraduate degree and receiving a spectacular ovation from the University of Alabama, Jalen Hurts is now free to move anywhere in the country as a graduate transfer and immediately play in his senior season.
The outpouring of support for this young man is tremendous, and it proves once again that values like integrity, loyalty, teamwork, and faith mean so much more than wins and losses.
Watching Jalen Hurts’ story unfold over the last two seasons has been nothing short of awe-inspiring. Hurts isn’t the most gifted thrower of the football, nor is he the most agile runner you’ll ever see, but his Alabama football career is a testament to the leadership, toughness, and mental fortitude every athlete needs to become a champion.
Potential landing spots in light of Jalen Hurts transfer could be in the SEC with the likes of Auburn and Tennessee, or he could potentially land with Lincoln Riley and the Oklahoma Sooners to replace Kyler Murray. Regardless of where he chooses, college football’s biggest free agent for next year has already written one of the greatest stories in college football history.
From all of the Alabama faithful: Thank you for everything, Jalen Hurts.