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Has transfer talk occurred between Nick Saban, Jalen Hurts?

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The topic of Alabama’s Jalen Hurts seeking a transfer was all anyone could talk about this offseason, preseason and the early portion of the regular season. And that chatter is sure to start up again once the postseason ends in a little more than a month.

Wednesday night’s question to Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban about if the subject of transferring had come up between himself and the junior quarterback was a direct result of a comment made by CBS Sports’ Gary Danielson during Saturday’s broadcast of the Iron Bowl.

“No, it really hasn’t,” Saban said in a press conference. “We’re all kind of focused on this game. I think Jalen is focused on the game. I’m focused on the game. I don’t think anybody is thinking about that much right now. I don’t think we’ll be thinking about it a whole lot until we get finished playing.”

No. 1 Alabama will face the No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs in the 2018 SEC Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 1, inside of Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The Crimson Tide is seeking its 27th SEC championship this weekend and its fifth conference title in the last seven seasons.

Hurts, who led Alabama to an SEC title in 2016, is now the Tide’s backup quarterback behind Heisman Trophy contender Tua Tagovailoa. Appearing in 10 games this fall, Hurts has thrown for 673 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions on 43-for-58 passing (74.1 percent). 

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts (Photo: Marvin Gentry, USA TODAY Sports)

Many believed Hurts would choose to take advantage of the NCAA’s new redshirt rule, which allows players to play in up to four games and still maintain a year of eligibility. Players like Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant did exactly that and will try to win over starting jobs at other schools next season. But Hurts remained in Tuscaloosa and played whenever UA asked him.

Set to graduate in December, Hurts will have one year left to play on the collegiate level. But in terms of transfer discussions, Saban said those haven’t happened with the Houston, Texas, native.

“Jalen has been a real positive influence on the team this year,” Saban said. “He’s really handled this as professionally as anyone could ever expect anyone to. He’s embraced the role that he has and I think that he’s improved because of it. I think whatever happens in the future, that’s going to benefit him.”

Alabama and Georgia will face off in the SEC Championship Game at 3 p.m. CT on CBS with Danielson, Brad Nessler and Jamie Erdahl on the call from inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Contact Charlie Potter by 247Sports’ personal messaging or on Twitter (@Charlie_Potter).

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