As the Alabama Crimson Tide begin their quest for a third National title in four years, that dream almost didn’t become a reality. In the fourth quarter of the SEC Championship, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa would leave the game with an ankle injury. Alabama coach Nick Saban called upon his former starting quarterback Jalen Hurts to take over the offense.
In the same building where Hurts was benched for Tagovailoa, against the same team, Hurts earned his redemption. Going 7-of-9 for 82 yards and scoring a pair of touchdowns, Hurts brought the Tide back from elimination against the Georgia Bulldogs, 33-30.
With perhaps Hurts’ final start in a Crimson Tide uniform under wraps, his stock if electing to transfer has never been higher. Going 26-2 as a starter over the course of two seasons, multiple teams across the College Football world will likely have intrest.
Texans defensive back Kareem Jackson applauded Hurts’ drive and commitment to school, believing he would transfer following his benching last season.
“I thought he would have, especially when the team found out first, when it first happened,” Jackson said. “I thought he would transfer. He’s a proven guy at the college level. I think he’s 24-2 as a starter or something like that. So, he’s been in the big games. He’s handled himself well.”
A former member of the Crimson Tide, Jackson played under Saban from 2007-2009. A first round pick, Jackson has grown from a solid cornerback into one of the more versatile defensive backs in the NFL.
While a native of Macon, Georgia, Jackson couldn’t be prouder of the young quarterback and his school representing the SEC for the fifth consecutive year in the College Football Playoff.
“Playing football is all about fighting through adversity,” Jackson said. “To be able to see him come back in and pull it out. Like I said, he’s been in the big game. He’s a guy that’s played in a National Championship. So, to him come in and play the way he did. I don’t think — well, anybody that are truly fans of that really know the game know instantly when he comes in he’s very capable of moving the team to a win.”
Alabama will face off against the Oklahoma Sooners in the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 29th. For his career with the Crimson Tide, Hurst has collected 5,616 yards, 42 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.