Alabama's Nick Saban Reveals Advice He Gave Jalen Hurts Before OU Transfer

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2020

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts and Alabama head coach Nick Saban stand with the Leather Helmet trophy after an NCAA football game against Florida State, Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, in Atlanta. Alabama won 24-7. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Before Jalen Hurts transferred to Oklahoma from Alabama, he had options, telling Nick Saban he was considering Miami or Maryland due to some familiarities with the coaching staffs at each school. 

But as Saban revealed in an interview with Fran Duffy of PhiladelphiaEagles.com, Saban nudged him to go to Oklahoma to maximize his NFL draft profile:

"I said, 'Jalen, where do they have the best players?' Because he felt more comfortable going where he knew these guys. And he said, 'Well, I think they've got the best players at Oklahoma.' I said, 'Well we just played them, I think they've got pretty good players on offense, too.' And I said, 'I've always told you that quarterback is a hard position to play if you don't have good players around you. So if I was you—to create the most value, because you've got one year to do it—if you know you can be the starter there, go where they have the best players.'"

Philadelphia Eagles @Eagles

Nick Saban talks in-depth about @JalenHurts’ development at Alabama in this exclusive interview with @EaglesXOs. #FlyEaglesFly https://t.co/zTmphRzWiR

Hurts—who left Alabama ahead of the 2019 season with Tua Tagovailoa overtaking him as the starting quarterback in Tuscaloosa—made the right decision. 

He threw for 3,841 yards, 32 touchdowns and eight interceptions, completing 69.7 percent of his passes, adding 1,298 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground. More importantly, he led Oklahoma to a 12-2 overall record and a berth in the College Football Playoff. 

For his efforts, he was named the distant runner-up to LSU quarterback Joe Burrow for the Heisman Trophy.

His huge season almost assuredly bolstered his draft stock, and the Eagles plucked him off the board in the second round. He'll start his career as the backup to Carson Wentz and potentially see the field with some regularity as a Taysom Hill-esque Wildcat quarterback or even share the field with Wentz in some two-QB looks.  

Charley Casserly @CharleyCasserly

How I expect the @Eagles to use Jalen Hurts this season. @nflnetwork https://t.co/Z2sZxpQIPC

It may not be the ideal situation for a player like Hurts who would have wanted a chance to compete for a starting job immediately. But he made the best of his opportunities in the past, both at Alabama and Oklahoma. 

Even in a limited role—and potentially more than that if Wentz gets hurt—expect him to do the same in Philadelphia