Jalen Hurts Explains Staying at Alabama After Losing QB Job to Tua Tagovailoa

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 31, 2020

OXFORD, MS - SEPTEMBER 15:  Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide and Jalen Hurts #2 warms up before a game against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on September 15, 2018 in Oxford, Mississippi.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Jalen Hurts' eventful collegiate career saw him dominate as Alabama's starting quarterback in 2016 and 2017, lose his job to Tua Tagovailoa in 2018 and earn Heisman Trophy runner-up honors as Oklahoma's quarterback in 2019.

Hurts stayed at Alabama despite losing his starting role, and he explained to NFL Network's Rich Eisen on The Rich Eisen Show why he decided to stay an extra year before moving on:

"There were thoughts. ... People wanted to see me be in a position where I can flourish," Hurts said when Eisen asked if he considered transferring immediately.

"Even my teammates around me, they were like, 'Why are you still here?' And I'm like, 'I'm here for you guys.'

"It was an unprecedented situation, it's something you've never seen happen before," Hurts continued. "I think it all happened for a reason, me deciding to stay at Alabama. I wouldn't change that decision for the world."

Hurts saw limited action as the team's backup that season, completing 72.9 percent of his 70 passes for eight touchdowns and two interceptions. He rushed for 167 yards and two scores.

Eisen then asked Hurts what he learned from that experience of going from starter to backup.

"It taught me patience, and it also taught me to have a new profound appreciation for the game and what I do," Hurts said. "Taking pride in everything. ... It just took another step in growth. An appreciation for the game and appreciating every moment...is very important to me."

Hurts transferred to Oklahoma for his senior year, when he accounted for 52 touchdowns (32 passing, 20 rushing) en route to leading the Sooners to the College Football Playoff.

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller ranks Hurts fifth overall among draft-eligible quarterbacks.

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