Reflecting on Jalen Hurts’ journey to leading the Eagles to Super Bowl LVII | College Football Enquirer

Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger discuss the incredible journey that Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts has traveled en route to Super Bowl LVII.

Video Transcript

PAT FORDE: I didn't know he could be this kind of quarterback. At Oklahoma you saw some of it, but still, I wasn't sure it was going to translate to the NFL, and man, has he been great.

DAN WETZEL: Jalen Hurts not drunk this weekend, as far as we know. When he gets pulled from the Alabama championship game for Tua Tagovailoa, transfers to Oklahoma, has a good year, but did you ever see this coming? Pat, you covered Jalen a bunch.

PAT FORDE: Yeah. Oh, absolutely not. No, I did not. Now I will say when he got to Oklahoma and you saw him in that offense, you're like, whoa. That looks like a whole different guy. Lincoln Riley was a great fit for him, and they flourished together.

But no. When he was-- you know, I thought that he was a good quarterback at Alabama who was replaced by a much better quarterback in Tua, and I will never forget-- I mean, Jalen Hurts handled that unbelievably well. I walked out to the bus with him after that game when he got benched, and he was completely magnanimous. He was happy they won the national championship. You know, it was obvious he was going to leave and go somewhere else, but, like, class act in a difficult situation.

So I was a big fan of him from a character standpoint, but I didn't know he could be this kind of quarterback. At Oklahoma, you saw some of it. But still, I wasn't sure it was going to translate to the NFL, and man has he been great. I mean, maybe, maybe not the NFL's MVP this year.

So good for him. Just he's just found a great spot for him there. They have a really, really good team. They've got backs. They've got receivers now, which Philadelphia never had. They got a great defense. And he's earned his spot. It's great.

ROSS DELLENGER: Yeah. I don't know that anybody-- well, there's probably somebody out there, maybe Jalen Hurts and his family, that thought he was going to be a really successful NFL quarterback. I just think there certainly were a lot of doubters. And, you know, Jalen got a lot better. The Alabama Jalen Hurts improved significantly through the years, first at Oklahoma and then on to the NFL.

I thought Rich Eisen had a good, like, tweet thread after the game. I'll go through it really quickly. But it was like, you know it takes you through-- each tweet takes you through a step in his journey, starting with demoted in front of a national TV audience on a national championship stage but stays the next year as a backup, you know? And then it moves to the Oklahoma days. Finally leaves for a new spot. Makes his mark, and gets his way to the Heisman Trophy podium.

And then gets drafted in the second round to a team still seemingly attached to its second overall pick only to finally get his shot. He balls out only to mystifyingly get benched in front of a national TV audience again. And then first full season as a starter, takes his team to the playoff. Gets one and done by Tom Brady. Vows to come back better and then, of course, does and is going to the Super Bowl.

DAN WETZEL: Yeah, it's amazing stuff about Jalen, right? Like the way he handled that-- you know, I wasn't playing well enough, and this is great that Tua came in and we won the-- you know, such a team-first thing. And then he stayed.


DAN WETZEL: And I get it because it's really hard. Like, you go into the championship game that night, you know, against Georgia, and you're thinking, I'm going to win the national championship. I'm going to be a hero here. And by the end of the game, you're like, should I transfer?


DAN WETZEL: Like in three years. So he stays, but he loses the job. He only had-- he played in almost every game. Played 13 games in 2018 but just 70 pass attempts. It was pretty kind of just humbling, right? Just mop-up duty.

Obviously comes in during the SEC Championship Game to replace-- Tua gets hurt, so it was like the reverse thing, but still--


DAN WETZEL: --graduates.

PAT FORDE: It's a full circle, unbelievable full circle.

DAN WETZEL: Yeah, the full-circle bit. But just what a quality guy. I don't know that I would have that patience. And then he graduates early and then goes to Oklahoma, but yeah, same thing.

And then, you know, Philadelphia is still screwing around with Carson Wentz. And, you know, finally they make the move to him. But, you know, he's a second-round pick. He was more of a runner at the beginning. You know, this is just his third year in the league, and boom. They're really good.

Now, look, he didn't play fantastic. He wasn't the reason they won yesterday. But he's got a real chance to win a Super Bowl, and that's just an amazing journey for him. So good good for him.

And the Alabama and Oklahoma fans now fighting over who gets to claim him.

PAT FORDE: [LAUGHS] It is really funny. Yeah, I did something like listing the alma maters of all the All-Pro selections, and Jalen Hurts was the Second Team All Pro. And I credited him with Oklahoma, as does his NFL bio and everything else. And Alabama are no, wait a minute. Wait a minute. He's ours. Eh, no. Sorry.

ROSS DELLENGER: Yeah, it's where you leave, right? It's where you finish.