Jalen Hurts to Remain on Alabama for Rest of Season After Playing vs. Louisiana

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2018

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 29:  Jalen Hurts #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks to pass against the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Jalen Hurts will reportedly remain with the Alabama Crimson Tide for the remainder of the season after losing redshirt eligibility status as the result of playing in Saturday's 56-14 victory over Louisiana.

After the game, Alabama coach Nick Saban had nothing but high praise for how his junior quarterback has handled the team's quarterback competition, per ESPN's Alex Scarborough:

"Jalen's a first-class guy. He's a really good player; he's won a lot of games around here for us. And I think he respects the program, and we certainly have a tremendous amount of respect for him. He's done a wonderful job, and he's a great team player."

Hurts has compiled a 26-2 record at Alabama but lost his job when then-backup Tua Tagovailoa entered at halftime of the College Football Playoff championship game last season and rallied the Crimson Tide to an overtime victory over the Georgia Bulldogs.

That set up a battle for the No. 1 spot on the depth chart this past offseason, a competition Tagovailoa came out on top in.

Despite Tagovailoa winning the starting job, Hurts had appeared in each of the team's first four games. At that point, though, it was unclear what Hurts' future with the Crimson Tide would be.

Aaron Suttles of The Athletic (via Pat Smith of the The Paul Finebaum Show) reported earlier this month that Hurts would redshirt this season if Tagovailoa remained healthy. Back in June, the NCAA made a rule change that allowed student-athletes to play in up to four games while still retaining redshirt status. If Hurts had gone that route, he would still have two years of eligibility moving forward.

Instead, Hurts made his way onto the field once again on Saturday, completing four of six pass attempts for 118 yards and one touchdown in the blowout victory. With that appearance, he can no longer redshirt this season.

Saban made it clear on Saturday that Hurts is committed to the team, per Scarborough:

"I know there's been a lot of talk around here about guy transferring and the transfer rule. Jalen, obviously, handled this extremely well—relative to being a great team player, a team leader, respecting his teammates, and sticking with the program here, and playing very well today and taking advantage of when he does have an opportunity to play, to play well and try to create value for himself—which, I think, would be the message that I would send to all players out there who are trying to take advantage of this new rule."

Saban has made no secret about it that he intends to continue playing both quarterbacks throughout the year. Not only does he believe both Hurts and Tagovailoa have earned playing time, but it also gives the Crimson Tide a chance to keep both passers sharp.

Should either quarterback get hurt during the season, the other should be more than prepared to step into the full-time role.

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