If Jalen Hurts loses his starting quarterback role to Tua Tagovailoa, he will likely pursue a transfer. That’s according to his father, at least.
Averion Hurts laid it out bluntly in an interview with Bleacher Report, saying Jalen would be “the biggest free agent in college football history” if he ended up leaving Tuscaloosa.
“Coach Saban’s job is to do what’s best for his team. I have no problem with that,” Averion Hurts said. “My job is to do what’s best for Jalen — and make no mistake, Jalen is a quarterback, and he wants to play quarterback. He loves Alabama, loves Coach Saban and everything about that place. But he wants to play, and he will play…”
And Averion Hurts made it clear that there will be no position changes.
“All he has ever wanted to do was play quarterback. He’s not a tight end or an H-back or anything else. He’s a quarterback.”
By now you know how we got to this point. Hurts leapfrogged two others to emerge as Alabama’s starting quarterback as a true freshman in 2016 and went on to become the SEC’s freshman and offensive player of the year as the Tide finished as national runner-up to Clemson in a title game for the ages. Tagovailoa arrived on campus as an early enrollee in 2017 and quickly impressed, but he was still behind Hurts on the depth chart. It remained that way, too, until the College Football Playoff title game.
Like he had at other points in the regular season, Hurts struggled mightily in the first half as Alabama fell behind Georgia 13-0. From there, Nick Saban made the move to Tagovailoa and he led the Tide to a dramatic 26-23 overtime victory with Hurts watching from the sideline.
Naturally, that set the stage for a massive quarterback competition entering the 2018 season. With Tagovailoa nursing a hand injury, it hasn’t been much of a competition thus far in spring practice. And knowing the way Saban handles quarterback competitions, there likely won’t be a whole lot of clarity until the late stages of fall camp, or even Week 1 of the regular season.
In the meantime, Hurts, with his 26-2 record as a starter, has a chance to remind the college football world — especially with Tagovailoa likely sidelined — what he is capable of in Alabama’s A-Day spring game on Saturday.
“I told Jalen, you f–ked up, you opened the door and put yourself in this situation,” Averion Hurts said. “Now it’s up to you to dig yourself out.”
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