It looks like Jalen Hurts’ run at Alabama will soon come to an end.
A source confirmed to Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel that Hurts’ name is now in the NCAA transfer portal, allowing coaches from other universities to contact him. The news was first reported by CBS.
Hurts was Alabama’s starting quarterback in 2016 and 2017, leading the team to the College Football Playoff title game in both seasons. In 2016, Hurts was the SEC Offensive Player of the Year as a true freshman, but the Tide lost 35-31 to Clemson in the national championship.
Hurts returned as the starter in 2017 and led the team to the national championship game yet again, this time against Georgia. However, after a poor first half, Hurts was benched in favor of Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa led the Tide on a remarkable comeback victory over the Bulldogs and then beat out Hurts out for the starting role ahead of the 2018 season.
Hurts served as the backup to Tagovailoa, the Heisman runner-up, the whole season, but played a huge role in the Tide’s SEC championship game win over Georgia. In a reversal of fortunes, Hurts came in for an injured Tagovailoa and led Alabama to a dramatic come-from-behind win.
Hurts would be immediately eligible at another school
Entering 2019, Hurts, with his 26-2 record as a starter, has one season of eligibility remaining. There was thought that Hurts may try to take a redshirt in 2018 to preserve a year of eligibility, but he ended up participating in 13 games, largely in mop-up duty with Alabama holding a big lead.
Now that he can be contacted by other programs, Hurts will undoubtedly be hotly pursued on the transfer market.
The newly implemented transfer portal allows a student-athlete to place his or her name into a database. Schools must do so within two business days of a player informing the school of his or her intent to transfer. Coaches from other schools can recruit the athlete once his or her name appears in the database.
Being put into the database does not guarantee that a transfer will take place, but it gives the student-athlete the chance to test the waters and see what options are available. With Tagovailoa in place in Tuscaloosa for at least one more season, Hurts will almost certainly pursue another opportunity.
Hurts graduated from Alabama in December, so he will be immediately eligible next season if he does transfer as expected.
Hurts will have no shortage of suitors
Where will he end up? One logical landing spot for Hurts is Maryland, where Mike Locksley is now head coach after three seasons as an Alabama assistant.
Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel wrote about Hurts’ impending transfer last month:
The Alabama quarterback has a 26-2 record as a starter, which is good enough to get you a statue built at most schools. His spot duty to save Alabama in the SEC title game reminded everyone of his dual-threat ability and dynamism. The most popular speculation spot is Maryland, where he’d follow offensive coordinator Mike Locksley. In terms of scheme, UCLA looms as the most logical fit. In terms of familiarity, he could go to FAU where he’d be aligned to thrive again under former Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.
Last April, Hurts’ father said that Jalen could end up being “the biggest free agent in college football history.” Now we’ll get the chance to see if he’s right.
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