Reports of Jalen Hurts’ plans to leave the Alabama Football team and enter the NCAA transfer pool emerged Wednesday afternoon. With the legacy he leaves behind, a farewell letter is due.
Thank you for embodying everything that is good about college football. You are the picture of perseverance, dedication, and loyalty. Kids everywhere should look to you as their idol for everything you represent. A Hollywood film producer couldn’t muster up a story as beautiful as yours.
Thank you for being a competitor. You proved that from the first day you walked on the field to play Alabama Football. A true freshman taking over in the middle of the first quarter opening game against USC in 2016, you fumbled the ball on your first play.
After the 52-6 win over USC, I remember saying we may not lose again with this guy behind center. The poise you showed as such a young player to overcome and continue on to throw for two touchdowns and rush for two more is remarkable. That game alone is representative of your entire career with the Tide.
Thank you for being dedicated to the game. You led Alabama to a 26-2 record as a starter and earned SEC offensive player of the year as a freshman. When you left the field in the National Championship in 2016, you had the lead. You remained dedicated to the game, the team, and the fans despite criticism and continued to fight for your position on the field.
Thank you for showing more perseverance in this season alone than most players can even hope to demonstrate in their entire careers. Kirby Smart and the Georgia defense were ready for you. They prepared for your game. By no fault of your own, Nick Saban gave Tua Tagovailoa a chance. You decided to fight. You stayed. You deserve overwhelming respect for persevering and working to get better.
When you stepped on the field in the fifth game this season, the entire stadium gave a well deserved standing ovation. You wanted to compete. You showed college football players everywhere the definition of perseverance, dedication, and loyalty.
Despite not having many opportunities to show how much you improved in the last year, you came out in the SEC Championship and saved the season. You took over and got the chance to play spoiler. You earned that right.
Alabama Football fans everywhere are indebted to you for giving us an opportunity at another College Football Playoff.
Thank you for being an encourager. You showed time and time again that you can be friends with your competition. You were always the first person to congratulate and celebrate Tua as he exited the field. You never showed jealousy or indifference.
You made the best of every opportunity you had when your number was called.
Thank you for being an example. While your talent is impressive, I will remember you as someone who cared about the fans. After the media day was over prior to the National Championship game, you insisted on staying another few minutes to get the chance to meet with a fan. After the devastating Clemson loss, you stayed around for an extra thirty minutes to meet a fan sticking around in the stands. Moments like these are what should be etched in the record books.
Thank you for representing Alabama Football so well during your time there. I am proud to be an Alabama fan because of players like you. You represent the beauty of college football. Your legacy will live on forever in both the record books and the hearts of the Crimson Tide faithful.
So Jalen, while I’m heartbroken you are leaving the Tide, you are a salesman who must sell your craft. You owe that to yourself. I hope you believe in yourself as much as I do, and I wish you endless success in the future.
Jalen Hurts, you have writ your name in Crimson flame.
Farewell, good luck, and Roll Tide.