We knew it wouldn’t be long before Jalen Hurts made his intentions known, and he did so today via The Players’ Tribune. Before telling the world that he would be headed to Oklahoma, he took the time to thank fans and everyone associated with the program. On his response to the benching in Atlanta:
Was what happened in the 2018 National Championship Game bittersweet? Of course it was — it was a humbling experience. It was tough, man.
But I am even tougher for it. I AM BUILT FOR THIS.
I understand that God put those obstacles and challenges in my life for a reason. He wanted me to feel the pain I felt for a reason. He wanted me to understand the importance of never losing faith — and of always staying true to myself. He had NOT brought me this far just to leave me there.
“This isn’t something you’re stuck in,” I’d tell myself. “This is something you’re going through.” And one thing I can promise you is that I’m better off for having gone through it. Everything I dealt with at Bama: I’m stronger for it. I’m wiser. I’m a better man.
Jalen will now compete with incoming 5-star Spencer Rattler for the starting job in Norman as their own graduate, Austin Kendall seeks to transfer to West Virginia. Oklahoma is currently contesting Kendall’s eligibility to play next season within the conference, similar to the Maurice Smith saga a couple of years ago. Hurts will he asked to execute a wide open Air Raid passing game while also making plays with his legs. His improvement in reading defenses and getting the ball out in time will certainly be tested.
For Alabama, Jalen’s departure leaves four scholarship QBs - Tua Tagovailoa, Mac Jones, Taulia Tagovailoa, and Paul Tyson - on the roster plus walk-ons Layne Hatcher and Braxton Barker, who have both reportedly impressed in practice. Alabama is in fine shape here.
Jalen will always be remembered in Tuscaloosa for his team-first attitude and grace in difficult circumstances. He has earned a special place in the hearts of Alabama fans, and he clearly feels a special connection to this University and this town. May he go on to a successful career as a QB, coach, or whatever life holds in store.