Nick Saban: 'We'll need' both Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa throughout 2018

Yahoo Sports

You can put any of the thoughts of a Jalen Hurts redshirt to rest.

Alabama coach Nick Saban told ESPN on Thursday that his plan is to continue using both Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback throughout the duration of the 2018 season. Hurts has been relegated to a part-time role after the emergence of Tagovailoa despite being Alabama’s starter in each of the past two seasons.

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From ESPN:

“I understand how unique a situation this is,” Saban said. “I don’t know of any other precedent at any time in college football where a guy started 28 games, won 26 of them and then somebody took his place. That’s never happened. So that’s hard for Jalen, and it’s hard for me. I’m a loyal guy and loyal to the guys who get out there and lay it on the line for you. You want to be fair to all of your players, but you also want to be fair to your team.

“We needed both quarterbacks last year, and we’ll need them both again this year.”

Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts have split time so far in 2018. (AP)
Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts have split time so far in 2018. (AP)

Report said Hurts would redshirt in 2018

A report emerged earlier this season that said Hurts would be redshirting in 2018. A new rule allows players to participate in up to four games in a season and still redshirt. If Hurts was to redshirt in 2018 — and Saban’s comments make it pretty clear that he won’t — he’d have just one more game to play this season after seeing time in Alabama’s first three games of the season.

Hurts is on track to graduate at the end of the season. He’d be eligible to transfer to another school as a graduate transfer. If he redshirted he’d have two years of eligibility wherever he played in 2018. Without a redshirt he’s got one.

Hurts spoke out before the season about the way Alabama had handled the quarterback competition between himself and Tagovailoa, who started the first game of the season. Tagovailoa has made Alabama’s offense more explosive in 2018 and has taken the college football world by storm even after his title-winning touchdown pass in January. He is 36-50 passing for eight touchdowns and no interceptions.

Hurts is 19-28 passing for 248 yards, four touchdowns and an interception in the time that he’s been at quarterback. Given the way Tagovailoa is playing, he’ll likely continue in that part-time role for the rest of the season. It’s working out alright for Alabama so far.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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