TUSCALOOSA— Alabama football (10-0) is hitting its stride at the right time, and much of the praise goes to quarterback Jalen Hurts and defensive end Jonathan Allen. On Thursday, both players were announced among 15 candidates as semifinalists for the Walter Camp Player of the Year award.
Hurts, a freshman, has exceeded expectations.
He captains an offense under Lane Kiffin that’s averaged 41.2 points a game, which is first in the Southeastern Conference and 14th nationally. The Channelview, Texas native has totaled 2,767 yards with 27 touchdowns.
He’s hit on 167 of 260 passes, displaying a 64.2 percent mark on completions and a 144.81 passer rating. While he needs nine touchdowns to set the program’s single season record, Hurts is 56 rushing yards away from tying another record held by ex-Alabama signal caller Steadman Shealy (791 rushing yards, 1979).
Allen, a senior, anchors the Crimson Tide’s defensive front.
He’s posted 40 total tackles, including 7.5 for loss and seven sacks. The 6-foot-3, 291-pounder leads the team in quarterback hurries (13), and has two touchdowns—both on fumble returns against Ole Miss and Texas A&M. Behind Allen, Alabama carries the nation’s top-ranked rush defense (68.8 ypg), while being among the leaders in total defense (2,595 yards) and scoring defense (12.2 ppg).
Former Tide running back Derrick Henry won the award in 2015, after accounting for 2,219 yards rushing and 28 touchdowns on 395 carries. Five finalists will be announced on Nov. 30, and the winner will be broadcasted live on ESPN’s Sports Center during the Home Depot College Football Award Show on Dec. 8 in Atlanta.