With Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts officially exploring a transfer away from the program, what other FBS schools are the best fit for him? Does Hurts want to stay in the SEC or go to a program close to his hometown of Houston? Or does he want to go to the place that gives him the best chance to compete for a national title? Here are 10 potential options for Hurts if he transfers away from Tuscaloosa.
Could you imagine an Alabama transferring to archrival Auburn? It might be the furthest thing from Hurts’ mind, but it would make sense for both sides from purely a football perspective. With Jarrett Stidham off to the NFL, the Tigers are left with nothing but inexperience at quarterback. Hurts would get to stay in the SEC and play on a really talented team.
Deondre Francois announced this week that he will return to FSU, but Willie Taggart could still be after an upgrade at the position. Francois and James Blackman are both talented but Hurts could help the Seminoles get back to the status of contenders in the ACC.
After three seasons as an assistant at Alabama, Mike Locksley returned to Maryland to be the Terps’ head coach. Will Hurts follow him to College Park? The Big Ten East is one of the sport’s toughest divisions and Hurts could help Locksley’s team become a surprise contender in 2019.
The quarterback play was horrendous for Miami in 2018. Malik Rosier and N’Kosi Perry split time at the position and neither played all that well. Rosier graduated and Perry will be a redshirt sophomore. With Manny Diaz now in place as head coach, he said the program will explore all options to improve the position. Hurts could be a good fit.
All eyes will be on the decision of Kyler Murray in the next few days. The Heisman Trophy winner could declare for the NFL draft, make it known that he is going to pursue professional baseball, or he could return to Oklahoma for his senior season. But if Murray leaves, Hurts could take the reins in Lincoln Riley’s high-powered offense. Riley helped Baker Mayfield get to the NFL and Murray could be next. Hurts could get that same tutelage while competing for a national championship.
If you watched the Cheez-It Bowl, you know TCU needs a quarterback. Shawn Robinson transferred to Missouri and the Horned Frogs’ top recruit from last year has health issues stemming from a high school injury. Hurts, a Texas native, could return to his home state and help Gary Patterson’s compete for a Big 12 championship with Oklahoma and Texas.
As a sophomore, Jarrett Guarantano showed some flashes of evidence that he can be a good quarterback in the SEC. But Hurts is a sure thing. He has been there and done that. Jeremy Pruitt, entering his second season as Tennessee’s head coach, was the defensive coordinator at Alabama when Hurts won SEC Offensive Player of the Year. With Jim Chaney in place as offensive coordinator, a player of Hurts’ caliber could help the Vols make a nice jump up the standings in 2019.
Hurts has already played for one national champion, so why not transfer to another? After a gruesome injury, McKenzie Milton will be sidelined indefinitely. Darriel Mack Jr. filled in admirably for the Knights down the stretch of the 2018 season but was plagued by turnovers. Hurts would be an unquestioned upgrade for Josh Heupel’s team.
After a 0-5 start to open Chip Kelly’s first season, UCLA played a lot better over the second half of the season. Kelly brought in Wilton Speight as a graduate transfer quarterback for 2018 and could go the same route with Hurts. UCLA has talented sophomore Dorian Thompson-Robinson in place, but Kelly might want a more experienced player like Hurts. Hurts has the mobility and decision-making skills that could fit pretty well in Kelly’s offense.
Neal Brown is the Mountaineers’ new coach after Dana Holgorsen went to the AAC and Houston. Does Brown want to go into 2019 with Jack Allison as the team’s starter? If he’s content with the team’s current quarterback options to replace Will Grier, then WVU isn’t an option here. If Brown is looking around for another quarterback, Hurts would be a good fit.
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