Why did Jalen Hurts leave Alabama for Oklahoma?

Jalen Hurts, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Jalen Hurts, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Jalen Hurts used to quarterback Alabama and Oklahoma before leading the Philadelphia Eagles.

Prior to being the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, Jalen Hurts used to start for the Oklahoma Sooners and the Alabama Crimson Tide right before that.

Although the Eagles are a polarizing NFL franchise, Hurts was somehow able to leave college universally beloved. He left Alabama on good terms after three great years before being the Heisman Trophy runner-up to Joe Burrow in 2019 during his lone season at Oklahoma. Clearly, leaving Tuscaloosa helped him get to the NFL, but why did Hurts leave Alabama in the first place?

Let’s discuss what all went into Hurts leaving Tuscaloosa for Norman ahead of his senior season.

Why did Jalen Hurts leave Alabama for Oklahoma?

Hurts started for the Crimson Tide as a freshman in 2016. He was named SEC Player of the Year before falling to the Clemson Tigers in the national championship game. Returning as the starter in 2017, he led the Crimson Tide back to the national championship game … and that is where things got interesting. Hurts got pulled at halftime in favor of Tua Tagovailoa, and Alabama won!

Had Nick Saban not made the switch at quarterback, Georgia would have probably won the national championship that year. Hurts remained on the football team in 2018 but served as Tagovailoa’s backup. As fate would have it, he replaced an ineffective Tagovailoa in the SEC Championship Game to beat, you guessed it, Georgia! He would then transfer to Oklahoma.

Part of the move to the Big 12 was for playing time, but part of it was to get more experienced as a downfield passer. Hurts was more of a run-first, game-manager during his three-year Alabama run. Tagovailoa threw a pretty spiral coming over from his native Hawaii. It was why he was a five-star coming out of Honolulu, while Hurts was more of a four-star talent coming out of Houston.

The Lincoln Riley Air Raid not only helped Hurts get drafted, but it helped change the perception of him as a pro prospect. While some pundits were shocked that the Eagles used a second-round pick on him when they still had Carson Wentz on his rookie deal, that turned out to be one of the better series of moves the Eagles have ever made. Just look at them playing in the Super Bowl!

Did Jalen Hurts win a national championship?

Although Hurts was the starting quarterback of a national championship-winning team, more of the credit goes to Tagovailoa in the title bout over Hurts, even though he does get credit for the win. During his one year at Oklahoma, the Sooners won the Big 12 and made the College Football Playoff. They were turned into Tiger food vs. Joe Burrow’s LSU squad. LSU did that to everyone…

Hurts made the College Football Playoff every year in school, whereas Alabama did not in 2019.

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