Jalen Hurts 'Built for These Situations' After Transfer to Oklahoma from Alabama

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2019

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) celebrates his touchdown against Georgia during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Jalen Hurts understands the pressure he's facing at Oklahoma.

The former Alabama quarterback, who transferred to the Sooners this offseason, is replacing Kyler Murray, last year's Heisman Trophy winner. And Murray, of course, replaced Baker Mayfield, the 2017 Heisman winner.

But Hurts is up for the challenge, as he said Wednesday, per Jake Trotter of ESPN.com:

"I think I clearly understood what I got myself into, but I also know I have expectations for myself. This whole situation is unique. Everything about it is unique. For me, I know it's happening to a unique person. I'm not your average Joe. I'm built for these types of situations. Never really been anything in my way I couldn't overcome, or see through. I'm here to do whatever I can to help this team in any way, to achieve the things we want to achieve as a team."

Hurts was Alabama's starter in his first two seasons, going 26-2 while throwing for 4,861 yards, rushing for another 1,809 yards and combining for 61 touchdowns. But he was replaced by Tua Tagovailoa in the College Football Playoff Championship game two seasons ago and never regained his starting position.

He did play a big part in helping the the team reach the College Football Playoff last year, however, replacing an injured Tagovailoa in the SEC title game and leading Alabama to two touchdowns in a comeback victory over Georgia.

There's little question that Hurts can perform on the big stage—he helped Alabama reach three consecutive national championship games. But playing in the shadow of players like Mayfield and Murray brings with it major scrutiny.

Hurts isn't worried about being compared to either, however.

"I don't want to get into comparisons. Baker is Baker, Kyler is Kyler and I'm me. Coach Riley has done an exceptional job thus far since I've been here, of setting that foundation of how things should be. To achieve more you gotta elevate yourself, gotta give an honest self-assessment on yourself so you can do the things you want to do."

Oklahoma is loaded with talent and has consistently been one of the top contenders in college football, but hasn't won a national championship since the 2000 season. The Sooners will be hoping Hurts can help them get over that hump.