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Alabama in the Pros

Jalen Hurts is the first black Alabama quarterback to start a Super Bowl

Eagles' QB Jalen Hurts (#1) runs with the ball against the Chicago Bears in Sunday's matchup.
Daniel Bartel - USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Hurts has been on an incredible journey as a 24-year-old.

He watched Clemson’s Deshaun Watson take a national championship from him as a freshman, Tua Tagovailoa replace him as Aabama’s starting quarterback in the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game against Georgia, and NFL prognosticators doubt his ability to transition to a complete quarterback. He has learned from every experience, good and bad, and is going to the Super Bowl with the Philadephia Eagles. February starts Wednesday, which means “Black History Month.”

RELATED: Jalen Hurts is the first Alabama QB since Kenneth Stabler to lead a team to a Super Bowl

Hurts is the first black Alabama quarterback to start a Super Bowl.

He is the fourth quarterback in school history, joining Bart Starr, Joe Namath, and Kenneth Stabler, to lead a team to the Super Bowl. Hurts was the first black quarterback of the Nick Saban era to start as a true freshman at Alabama. He was the first African American signal-caller under Saban to start a College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Hurts guided the Crimson Tide in 2017 to the 2018 CFP National Championship meeting with Georgia, despite him getting benched in the second half.

He redeemed himself in the following season, replacing an injured Tagovailoa in the second half of the 2018 Southeastern Conference Championship matchup with the Bulldogs. Hurts led the Tide to a 35-28 comeback victory in Atlanta, Ga.

His mentality has remained the same since college.

Hurts stays even-keeled, not allowing himself to get too high or too low. He’s turned in a remarkable season that may yield him a monster contract extension for the Eagles. Coach Saban has one of his former quarterbacks in Super Bowl 57. The journey is not over, but what a ride it has been for Hurts. He anticipates becoming the first black Alabama QB to win a Vince Lombardi Trophy.

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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.

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