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Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts to participate at Manning Passing Academy

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts (No. 2) celebrates 2016 Southeastern Conference championship win over Florida: Cedric Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

He had a great freshman season.

Many eyes beheld an 18-year-old guiding the University of Alabama’s football program to a Southeastern Conference title, a victory in the Peach Bowl and a rematch with Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship. Although it was an exciting ride, the Crimson Tide fell short of its ultimate goal.

For sophomore quarterback and returning starter Jalen Hurts, the mission for 2017 is simple: prove to the college football world that he is an effective passer. After winning the Southeastern Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year, the native Texan is expected to arrive at the Manning Passing Academy on Thursday.

Founded by former NFL quarterback Archie Manning in 1996 and conducted by sons – Peyton and Eli – the Manning Passing Academy is designed to coach quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends.

The annual four-day event will occur at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La., and will go from Thursday, June 22 to Sunday, June 25. Some of college football’s most heralded names have passed through the academy, including Russell Wilson, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota and even Johnny Manziel.

Former Tide standout AJ McCarron sought help from the Manning family in 2013. He would turn in his best passing season statically, completing 67.2 percent of his throws for 3,063 yards with 28 touchdowns to seven interceptions. McCarron earned the Maxwell and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm awards, while being selected first team All-American.

Head coach Nick Saban and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll do not intend to remove Hurts’ running ability from his skill set; however, both coaches want to see a better understanding of accuracy and crisp timing on throws from the 6’2″ dual threat – especially with the star talent at receiver the Tide has returning in the fall.

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 15 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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