Is there a quarterback controversy?
Is there a less appreciated college player than Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts? It’s hard enough to imagine a QB lead his team to back-to-back national championship games in his first two seasons on campus, but it’s incredible to think such a player would be in danger of losing his starting job entering his junior campaign. Yet that’s the position Hurts – the 2016 SEC Offensive Player of the Year, mind you – is in after he was pulled during a largely ineffective start against Georgia in Atlanta.
Tua Tagovailoa rescued the Crimson Tide’s championship hopes, and the lefty cemented his folk hero status by throwing a perfect strike to beat the Bulldogs in overtime. It makes sense for Nick Saban to find a way to utilize Tagovailoa in the Alabama offense. After all, he was a five-star recruit who showed the complete package of skills necessary to drive an offense – including arm strength, accuracy, running skills, and poise. If he doesn’t play at Alabama, he might look to start elsewhere. But was Tua truly great enough to force Hurts to the bench, another position, or to transfer?
Saban and his coaching staff made the move to bring in East Carolina grad transfer Gardner Minshew, a likely sign they anticipate Hurts won’t be under center for Alabama in 2018. Hurts might be willing to change positions similar to the way former Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller did after a similarly successful stint at Ohio State. Hurts has a similar skill set: he’s big and athletic and has proven to be a dynamic runner. San has hinted he would like to find a role for both Hurts and Tagovailoa, and the Tide must also replace multiple starting receivers, so it’s likely Hurts could contribute there.
If it works out that way, great. Hurts has already shown he is a team player willing to set his ego aside. And, if he loses the starting QB job and doesn’t want to switch positions, Hurts could potentially pursue a graduate transfer for 2019.