So, as everyone has heard by now, Jalen Hurts will transfer to the University of Oklahoma. The former Alabama superstar was benched in the 2018 national title game in favor of then-freshman Tua Tagovailoa. After Tagovailoa’s heroics in the 2018 title game, Hurts’ Alabama legacy came to a screeching halt. During the 2018-2019 season, Tagovailoa beat out Hurts for the starting quarterback position and never let it go. Tagovailoa turned out to be a Heisman contender and led the Crimson Tide to the National Title game.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban faced a tough situation leading up to the season until the job was won.
On one side he had Hurts, a former four-star recruit who had been the starter for his team the last two years. On the other side, you had Tua Tagovailoa; the hero of the 2018 national championship and a former five-star recruit. Throughout training camp, the consensus was that Tua was going to start the year and Hurts was going to have to take a back seat. And that’s exactly what happened.
Since Hurts’ decision to transfer to Oklahoma, Nick Saban had been quiet on the matter. It was well known that he liked the quarterback very much. During the rematch of Alabama and Georgia this year, Tagovailoa got injured during the game and Hurts had to play. Hurts led the team back from two scores and won the game. Saban talking to CBS after the game and reported by USA Today said “I’m so proud of this guy for what he has done this year. I can’t even tell you.” The choked up Saban stating those lines showed his love for Hurts and his acknowledgment of what adversity Hurts had been through.
Saban finally touched upon the matter when talking to Simone Eli and CBS 42. He stated, “I think this was the best thing for him.” Saban continued on to thank Hurts for his contributions to the Alabama Football program. He stated “We appreciate so much all that he’s done for the University of Alabama, our program. The way he managed this year was really unprecedented and I think he showed a tremendous amount of class.”
It’s nice to see coach Saban reacting well to one of his most beloved players transferring to a rival school. With many coaching staff members leaving Alabama Saban has been known to grow frustrated with their absence. However, Saban doesn’t seem upset with Hurts decision to go to Oklahoma. He seems happy for the quarterback. Everything seems great until they potentially match up next year.