Jalen Hurt

Really surprised this has not already been opened.  Let me begin with not Alabama fan but respect Saben and his program.  Was not Hurt fan until this year and especially the feel good story of Saturday's game.  He had a chance to leave and play somewhere else but stayed and rode out his time.  That chance came in the biggest game of the year, so far.  He led the team to victory and was a good teammate throughout the rest of the season.  I wonder how many players would have stayed or how many would have left like Bryant did at Clemson.  I still wonder motives but it is great to have a success story of one who rode out the system and was rewarded.  Great story for coaches to tell from travel ball, high school, college, and pros.  Especially with all the discussion of guys going somewhere and not getting to play as planned.

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The Bryant move did make sense. With the new rules he can redshirt and when he graduates in the spring he will be free to transfer without sitting out and one last year of eligibility. I think Alabama will grant Hurts his release to a non SEC school (most likely a Big 12 school) and he will be in the Heisman conversation. 

Likewise I'm not an Alabama fan but love seeing how they compete and stay at the top.  I think what Hurts did and how he handled himself has been very admirable.  He's definitely a fine example of sportsmanship, and clearly did what's best for the team and the coaching staff.  But...

Did he hurt his future by staying and not playing?  Any kid who goes to Alabama as QB has to have the NFL in his sights, as I'm sure he did.  It's easy to say he's awesome for staying, but how many adults leave a job because someone else got the promotion, or for a better opportunity, or to in some way advance their career.  College football is a business and these kids have goals, and how many adults criticize kids for looking out for their own interests?  At some point we all have to make decisions about what is best for us.

It bothers me a little that I see so many coaches promoting his action as admirable, but how much self-interest is in these comments?  What coach at any level wouldn't want their best player to stick around and help him win?  Coaches have self-interest too, and it seems like the message is slanted towards "it's all about the team", but I haven't seen a single story about how this might have negatively impacted Hurts' own future in football.  Maybe he felt that he wasn't an NFL-type QB and Alabama was it, and if so that would be fine.  But I'd like to hear this side of the story.

As soon as Tua started limping, I was thinking how ironic it would be if he steps in and leads them to the big W.  Yeah, I'm surprised that has been a bigger story as well.  Just so much going on elsewhere?  Kareem Hunt? 

Surely if he leads them to the National Championship...

Do Pro scouts see him as a QB? In what offense for what style? If character is considered by NFL teams - then I would think staying is a character move for sure. Would switching schools necessarily help? I don't think he really has it all that bad... Backup QB for a top ranked program, playing for a well respected coach...  Sounds like Brian Hoyer if you ask me ;-)

Alabama QB's in the NFL. 

Let's see, Starr, Namath and Stabler and then...and then.  I am not sure they have produced a solid NFL QB in 50 years.   To be fair a number of guys have parlayed winning a bunch of games there into NFL careers as backups or so/so starters.

Now linemen and db's you've got something but anything in offensive backfield - especially QB, not so much.  

Saban brought in quarterback guru, Dan Enos.  This was the first time that he'd had a legit full-time QB coach.  Enos is top-flight.  That was a huge draw for Jalen to stay.  If he goes to another school as a redshirt, he essentially loses a year of training, as no one trains and reps a redshirt.   From there, one has to hope that the coaching staff at the new school is actually competent at training QBs to throw.  Those schools usually have a nice log jam of guys looking to play there to boot.  Jalen wants to try his hand in the NFL as a quarterback.  He was promised solid training opportunities with Enos, as well as good playing time as a back up and he was essentially waiting for this opportunity.   As a result, Jalen Hurts has progressed notably as a passer.  He confidently threw to the middle of the field last Saturday, made two nice throws while rolling out and, of course, used his legs very well.

Jalen has also made several other really nice throws this year in mop up situations.  Regardless of the circumstances in the game, one can still see that he's greatly improved.  Jalen also works past his initial receiver better now.  He still doesn't read progressions like Tua, but few players do.  Jalen still looks to roll right, which cuts off half of the field, rather than step up in the pocket, and doesn't have nearly the confidence that Tua does, nor the ability to throw guys open.  However, again I say, how many guys do.

Jalen is also a class act.  He's humble and he's loyal and he's a team player.  If you aren't tough as nails and a team player, you won't play for Saban.   

Saban is imposing.  You don't walk into his office and believe that you will stare him down or make demands.   He's reasonable and he's loyal and he's decent.  But, he's also old school and knows that he simply cannot allow any player to be above the team.   Think Glenn Frey but as a coach, not a band leader. (Interestingly, Saban loves the Eagles).   Frey and Henley were insistent that "The Eagles" was bigger than the members.  They sacrificed their pride and personal ambitions for the sake of the name and all it represented.   You go to an Eagles concert, you get a standard.  No sloppy garbage.  You get the songs played like you hear them on the album...note for note, word for word.  They had a standard and they met it night-after-night.  The key was that the Eagles also had talent and drive.  You join the Eagles, you are going to be successful - if you follow the Eagles way.   Same with Saban.  He has "The Process."  The process works.  You come to Alabama and follow the process, you will be successful.  You sacrifice your self-centeredness to the team.  You are not bigger than the team.  The team presents its standard every game.  No sloppiness...perfection.  Do your job and we all win.

Hurts bought into Saban's "Process".  Saban is proven.  He has earned the trust.


You are all very welcome for this lesson on how to have a successful football program and rock and roll outfit.  Choose your paths, young grasshoppers.  


P.s.: KISS has a similar story to the Eagles in some key ways.

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