The rich keep on getting richer! As reported earlier today, former Alabama QB, Jalen Hurts has announced that he will spend his Senior season as a Oklahoma Sooner. The news sent shock waves around the college football world as although there was speculation he was going to transfer, no one thought he was going to Oklahoma. In a statement made earlier today, Hurts stated that “I’ve decided to take my talents to the University of Oklahoma, where I will continue my development as both a quarterback and as a student. I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity, and I’m excited for the journey ahead.” Hurts entered the transfer portal last week and took his first official visit to Maryland on Friday. He visited Oklahoma on Saturday and Miami on Sunday. Hurts also had interests from schools such as Auburn, Tennessee, Utah, UCLA, Florida State and Ohio State.
Hurts, a native of Houston, Texas, went 26-2 as a starter at Alabama before being benched behind Tua Tagovailoa this season. Hurts recently made waves in the national media when he led the Crimson Tide back from a deficit to win the SEC Championship against Georgia. Hurts was called onto play in the later stages of the game, after Tagovailoa had suffered a game ending ankle injury. It is safe to say, that Hurts may be one of the most underrated college QB’s of all time as his resume is as good as you will ever find, but yet is wildly underappreciated. During his two seasons as a starter at Alabama, Hurts threw for a total of 4800 passing yards, tossed 40 TD passes and accounted for only 10 INTs. He also hurt SEC defenses with his feet as Hurts combined for a total of 1800 yards to go along with 21 TD rushes. These numbers, combined with his 26-2 record are not only good, they are staggering. Because Hurts was at Alabama, much of the accolades were given to the “teams excellence” rather than Hurts’ brilliance. This lack of true respect could not have been an easy pill for Hurts to swallow. He won games, won national championships, heck even won a SEC offensive player of the year award, yet was not even considered as a top QB in the nation, rather a piece to Alabama’s cog.
Hurts knows he will not just stroll into Norman and have the starting job handed to him. Oklahoma is also welcoming a 5 star recruit, Spencer Rattler who is not only one of the top recruits in the nation, but has been hyped up as the next great one. That being said, if Hurts comes into Norman with the attitude and competitive fierceness that he carried with him in Tuscaloosa, the job could very well be his. Hurts has the skill set, has the god given talent, and is now ready to show the world just how special he is. The Heisman bug has already been buzzing around Hurts and this would be no shocker, as Lincoln Riley eats Heisman winners for breakfast. Since taking over the head coaching duties at Oklahoma in 2017, Riley has coached, mentored and crafted back to back Heisman winners in Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. As Riley is now gifted with Hurts and Rattler coming into the 2019 season, one can only imagine the excitement that is boiling through Riley’s body. He has become the QB whisperer and the path of QB excellence, now runs through Norman.
The final point I want to make is that Jalen Hurts is going to face defenses that are not even comparable to the defenses he faced down south. No offense, but the Big 12 is not known for their defensive dominance. It is an offensive ridden conference that thrives off high scoring games and video game like stats. When Hurts was a starter at Bama, he would face elite defenses on a weekly basis. LSU, Auburn, Florida, the big guns that salivate over offensive prey. If Hurts could handle that with success, the sky is the limit for what he is about to do with Big 12 defenses this season.
In conclusion, this move that Hurts made could not have been a better one for his future. He is entering an environment that is used to success (although not on a level of Alabama), getting the opportunity to be coached by the best offensive mind in football and finally gets the chance to get the respect that he so desperately deserved. The media isn’t going to be talking about a great defense, because Oklahoma doesn’t have one. They won’t put him in a shadow behind a young lefty from Hawaii. He is going to be THE guy and if he can make the most of this opportunity, I think we are looking at our next Heisman trophy winner.
Side Note: I think the Heisman trophy is Trevor Lawrence’s to lose in 2019, but I would definitely put Hurts in the discussion.