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Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts showed more than accuracy on A-Day

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts (No. 2) on the sidelines during last week's A-Day game: Cedric Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

The sophomore is fully bought into a team first mindset.

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts has never lacked self-confidence. It’s the fuel that drove him to being the Crimson Tide’s starter under center after week two a season ago, and navigating the program to a Southeastern Conference championship and a Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl title as a true freshman.

During spring practice and especially last week’s A-Day game, Hurts has worked constantly on improving his deep ball accuracy and reading through progressions. Regardless of concerns or outside noise, the native Texan delivered a strong performance inside Bryant-Denny Stadium.

With offensive coordinator Brian Daboll feeding him information, Hurts connected on 16 of 25 passes – 64 percent – for 301 yards and two touchdowns to one interception. He accounted for five completions in excess of 20 yards, including two scores to wide receivers Robert Foster (65) and Calvin Ridley (37).

Despite his athletic prowess showing up on the final drive, it was a smart check down throw from Hurts to sophomore running back Josh Jacobs that set up a game-winning field goal. Following a 27-24 win for Crimson over White, head coach Nick Saban spoke to the media on how much Hurts has improved as a passer.

He said that it was the No. 1 goal this offseason.

“I thought his patience and pocket awareness was better,” Saban said on Hurts. “I thought it was much better. When he had an opportunity to scramble and make a play like he did against LSU and Clemson, he did. Those things are still important to us, but I thought his ability to stay in the pocket and throw the ball on time with accuracy was much improved.”

He took a pop from safety Ronnie Harrison in the second half, but sophomore tight end Miller Forristall brought in one of Hurts’ 16 completions. After the game, he touched on his quarterback’s work ethic.

“Jalen puts in countless hours,” Forristall said. “Even though we don’t see it on film.”

His cell phone holds great motivation, (screensaver of Clemson holding CFP national championship trophy) but at his heart, Hurts wants success for all three Tide quarterbacks.

“It’s more than myself and Tua, Mac Jones is in this too,” Hurts said. “We need a good quarterback room. We competed well this spring and it’s about making each other better.”

He’s gone from showing leadership potential to now being a leader, and for Hurts, it’s more so about protecting those around him. “We are a team at the end of the day,” he said with a smile.

“It’s different with me being a leader, but Tua and Mac are like my little brothers. If they need something, I’m here to teach and help them. I’m going to take care of them.”

Stephen M. Smith is a managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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