Alabama Football: Jalen Hurts represents everything that is right

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01: Jalen Hurts /
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Alabama football QB, Jalen Hurts
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Hurt’s second season not easy

Early enrollee Tua Tagovailoa could not wrestle away the starting job from Jalen after spring and fall practice. His second season was faced with inquiries into why Tua was not playing more. Fans questioned his inability to find another receiver besides star Calvin Ridley. In retrospect, there was a significant disparity as Ridley finished the season with 63 catches and the team’s second-leading receiver was Bo Scarbrough with 17.

Whispers about Jalen’s starting job became deafening after Alabama’s defeat to Auburn 26-14. His modest stat line did not help. He was 12 of 22 for 112 yards and one touchdown. Add in 82 yards rushing on 18 carries. In the long run, former Alabama offensive coordinator Brian Daboll struggled to employ Hurts as his predecessor did effectively. All his offensive numbers declined from the previous year.  He passed for 2081 yards and 17 touchdowns. The sophomore also threw only one interception which is indicative of how low risk he was with passing.

In the College Football Playoff, he had a workmanlike game against Clemson going 16 for 24 with 120 yards passing and two touchdowns. Afterward, he struggled mightily against SEC champion Georgia. The consequence led Saban into making the most massive football decision in his storied career. The decision rested on swapping out an SEC Offensive Player of the Year with a 25-2 record for an unproven freshman. It paid off, and the rest is history.