It may not be a quarterback controversy, but it’s at least a quarterback conundrum.
Jalen Hurts has gone 27-2 as the starting quarterback at Alabama, guiding the Crimson Tide to back-to-back national championship game appearances. Trailing Georgia 13-0 at halftime, however, Hurts was yanked in favor of Tua Tagovailoa, with the true freshman playing a starring role in a wild come-from-behind win as he delivered a walk-off 41-yard touchdown pass in the first overtime.
Tagovailoa’s production and heroics on the biggest stage the sport has to offer combined with Hurts being limited in the passing game has led some to already anoint the Hawaiian sensation as the starter heading into the 2018 offseason.
At least publicly, the man who will ultimately make the call isn’t ready to pull the trigger on a permanent change.
“Look, we have two good quarterbacks on our team, no doubt,” Nick Saban said during a Monday morning press conference. “I think that we haven’t really made a decision about that, and it’s not imperative we make one right now.
“We’ve got two fine young men who really respect each other and have worked hard to help each other all year long.”
Hurts, in particular, showed what a fine young man he is in the face of difficult circumstances.
During the game, Hurts was caught by cameras on numerous occasions exhorting his team on as they mounted their second-half comeback without him on the field. In fact, the sophomore was the first to run out and greet the freshman after Tagovailoa tossed the first of his three touchdown passes in the middle of the third quarter to finally get the Tide on the scoreboard.
After the game, Hurts’ class was on full display yet again.
What happens with the quarterback position in Alabama remains an unknown, but I think it’s safe to say Hurts will handle whatever decision is made with the grace that was on full display Monday night and on into Tuesday morning.