If and when Jalen Hurts Alabama football after the College Football Playoff, he will leave as one of the most popular players in Alabama history.
Hurts could have transferred during the off-season, and no reasonable person would have blamed him. One can still argue that the best thing for his football career would have been to leave Tuscaloosa and get a jump on meshing with his new team and system.
Instead, he stayed with the Crimson Tide, and in Atlanta at the SEC Championship Game earlier this month, may have saved the team’s season.
Alabama struggled mightily against Georgia’s vaunted defense, with Heisman runner-up Tua Tagovailoa having the worst game of his season before leaving with a high ankle sprain.
Hurts entered the game, and was sensational, leading Alabama to a 35-28 comeback win. Tagovailoa is expected to be okay for the College Football Playoff semifinal against Oklahoma on the 29th, but Hurts will be ready if needed.
Jalen Hurts graduated from the University of Alabama today, and the Crimson Tide quarterback got a standing ovation from his fellow students.
It is a touching moment in a month full of them for Hurts.
Standing ovation when he takes the field. Standing ovation when he walks the stage. Congrats + a big #RollTide to the legend himself, @JalenHurts 💪 #BamaGrad #WhereLegendsAreMade pic.twitter.com/aq6AnaHKqw
— The Univ. of Alabama (@UofAlabama) December 15, 2018
The close relationship between Tagovailoa and Hurts, put on full display after last year’s national championship and again in the SEC title game, has shown how each is a consummate teammate.
However the rest of the season shakes out, and whatever the future holds for Hurts, I know Alabama fans are going to be extremely happy for him, and the program is better for his three years in Tuscaloosa.