Stephen's Report

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts: How much playing time will he see against USC?

Alabama true freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts (No. 2) attempting a pass at 2016 A-Day game: Marvin Gentry - USA TODAY Sports

Will the four-star recruit see action in his home state?

True freshman Jalen Hurts pushed all other quarterbacks to the brink throughout spring practice and fall camp, but Alabama head coach Nick Saban announced Cooper Bateman and Blake Barnett as the guys that will get most of the reps in tonight’s game against Southern California.

Hurts, a native of Channelview, Texas, signed in January as a member of Alabama’s top-ranked 2016 recruiting class. He impressed nearly 80,000 fans on A-Day, completing 11 of 15 passes for 120 yards and touchdown. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound signal caller emulated Clemson’s quarterback Deshaun Watson in preparation for the College Football Playoff national title game; however, his field time against USC will be determined on how the Crimson Tide looks in relation to the game.

Regardless of being thin on the defensive line, head coach Clay Helton and the Trojans still look to affect the timing of Lane Kiffin’s offense. A close game equals more time for Bateman or Bateman, whereas a blowout could see Hurts take the field as early as the third quarter.

One cannot deny the talent, but Saban would rather go with knowledge in a season opening game.

Much of what fans have heard concerns the dual threat abilities of Hurts and though it will become a factor at some point, how Alabama plays in the first half will factor into when fans shall see him.

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama MagazineYou can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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