Connect with us

Alabama Football News

Jalen Hurts to graduate Alabama this weekend as legend and fan favorite

Jason Getz - USA TODAY Sports

When he steps into Coleman Coliseum tonight and shakes hands with President Stuart R. Bell of the University of Alabama, all would have come full circle for him. 

The story of Jalen Hurts is one of instant success, trials, doubters, and a resurgence to show nothing causes for him to second guess who he is. Upon coming to Alabama from Houston, Texas in the 2016 signing class, Hurts impressed as a marquee athlete. 

Under the guidance of Lane Kiffin, he won Southeastern Conference Freshman and Offensive Player of the Year – totaling a school-record 36 touchdowns.

After helping the team secure a conference championship and appear in the College Football Playoff, struggles in the passing game starting setting in on Hurts in the following season. Despite tossing one interception, the Crimson Tide was limited on offense and it showed in the CFP national title matchup. 

RELATED: Jalen Hurts cements legacy at Alabama with SEC Championship heroics

He completed just three of eight passes for 21 yards versus Georgia to start 2018, and after Tua Tagovailoa delivered the team to a title off the bench, the offseason turmoil began for the native Texan.

Thoughts of Hurts needing to leave Alabama sparked throughout spring and summer, especially with college football instituting the new redshirt/graduate transfer rule. 

Regardless of some pushing for him to go and others expecting him to leave, the junior continued to state his piece on remaining with the Tide. In the midst of chaos, he inherited a quarterbacks’ coach in Dan Enos and started improving his mechanics. Throughout this season, Hurts has looked better than the last two years and nothing was more evident of this than his outing in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game two weeks ago. 

Jalen Hurts A True Alabama Legend 1080 HD

Against the same team in the same venue, Hurts emerged with a championship on the line. 

He replaced an injured Tagovailoa in the fourth quarter and completed seven of nine pass attempts for 82 yards with two total touchdowns. Hurts converted five third downs with his arm and found wide receiver Jerry Jeudy for a 10-yard scoring strike that tied the game at 28. 

His 15-yard touchdown run was similar to his 30-yard run versus Clemson in the national championship game his freshman year. His desire to shine for his team in critical moments delivered the program to a 35-28 win over the Bulldogs, punching its ticket to the CFP. 

In the aftermath of the game, multiple players spoke on Hurts’ leadership. 

“We do not win this game without Jalen Hurts,” Alabama long snapper Thomas Fletcher said, in celebration after the SEC title game. What Jalen did tonight in coming into a game where you don’t know if you are going to have an opportunity to play as a second-string quarterback…the fact that he came in and did what he did was huge.”  

“I am really proud of Jalen,” Tide linebacker Dylan Moses said. “I know he went through a lot and I know it hurts, but I am just happy for his success. I want him to do well.” 

He came in with trademark dreadlocks was a record-setter and as he marches with his undergraduate degree, Hurts’ numbers rank high amongst the all-time leaders at Alabama. 

Career numbers for Jalen Hurts 

Passing yards: 5,616, seventh all time 

Passing TDs: 48, tied for second all-time (Tagovailoa, 48) 

Total TDs: 71, second all-time (AJ McCarron, 80) 

Total yards: 7,592, third all-time 

Nick Saban and the Tide resume practice today after a long break, following the SEC Championship Game. With all eyes focused on the health of Tagovailoa (ankle), Hurts will be prepared as if he will start.

His decision on moves following this season are uncertain, but he desires another national title before anything else occurs.

Congrats to Hurts on graduating.

*Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber only content!*

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

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.

More in Alabama Football News