Jalen Hurts Was an Absolute Class Act After the National Championship
Few days late getting this story up, but sometimes that happens when you have a busy life, a day job, and you still try to contribute to a growing media company. But, it’s something I still wanted to write regardless. Jalen Hurts, in an incredibly awkward situation during the National Championship game against Georgia, was an absolute class act.
Can’t say enough good things about this kid – he had a nearly impeccable 25-2 record as a starter for the Crimson Tide and was routinely one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the entire country.
But, he went 3/8 for 21 yards in the first half of a National Championship game that the Bulldogs were dominating. There’s a story beyond the stats, too. Getting anything downfield against Georgia looked damn near impossible. For all intents and purposes, it was impossible.
So, Nick Saban did what a lot of people were wondering whether he’d do or not – he pulled Hurts – again, a 25-2 quarterback – and put in true freshman Tua Tagovailoa.
But, it worked. It worked to a T. “Hawaiian Punch” Tagovailoa went 14/24 for 166 yards, three touchdowns, and a pick in the second half. More importantly, his presence ignited the vertical passing game and sparked the offense. The Tide came back and won the game 26-23 in overtime.
Every time the camera showed Hurts, he was all smiles, calm and collected, on the sidelines. When Tagovailoa made a big play, Hurts was the first one to congratulate him. During the postgame he was asked about it, and completely took it in stride. He was genuinely happy for his team. I don’t think anyone would’ve blamed him if he hung his head, looked downtrodden, appeared angry – any of that. It could’ve been a much larger story, but it’s not because of how much class and maturity Hurts showed.
Couple of things:
First, let’s not act like one bad game undoes everything Hurts did prior to Monday night. His body of work at Alabama has been stellar.
Second, isn’t this how you want your kids raised? Like, this is the perfect example of how to act when things just don’t go your way. But, people are slamming Hurts for not “looking competitive enough.” Bullshit. That’s total bullshit. This kid showed more emotional maturity than most grown ass adults. These are probably the same grown adults who make death threats to high school students because they didn’t choose their college.
Of course, we can commend Hurts all we want, but the big question is where we go from here. That, I don’t know. The one thing that appears likely is that Tagovailoa will be running the show from now on. There were reportedly coaches calling for a quarterback change before the National Championship. Hurts’ performance probably made a pretty good case for that. So, if that’s the case, Hurts can either stick around, switch positions, or try to transfer.
I don’t know what the rules around transferring are, but that’s where I’d place my bet. Maybe a certain offensive genius down in Boca Raton comes a callin’ in a day or two. Regardless, Hurts deserves a lot of respect and adulation for the way he handled a tough situation.
Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD and #BeBetter. “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Alabama Crimson Tide football, the WWE, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley