At least publicly, he ain’t mad.
The “he” in this case is Nick Saban, the future Hall of Fame head coach on the receiving end of some very public criticism from Jalen Hurts earlier this month about Alabama’s handling of the quarterback situation in Tuscaloosa. In his first public comments since Hurts kicked up the kerfuffle, Saban Wednesday evening attempted to downplay the true junior’s biting commentary.
“This whole spring ever since the game, (coaches) kind of wanted to let it play out and I guess didn’t think it was a thing to let it die down like there wasn’t something there,” Hurts said this past weekend. “But that’s always been the elephant in the room. For me, no one came up to me the whole spring, coaches included, no one asked me how I felt.
“No one asked me what was on my mind. No one asked me how I felt about the things that were going on. Nobody asked me what my future held. That’s that. So now it’s like when we try to handle the situation now, for me, it’s kind of late, it’s too late, the narrative has already been created.”
Hurts has been Saban’s starter for the past two seasons, but is involved in a very high-profile battle with the hero of the Crimson Tide’s national championship game win, true sophomore Tua Tagovailoa. In fact, quite a few observers have Tagovailoa as a decided frontrunner for the job despite missing most of the spring because of an injury to his throwing hand.
In April of this year, Hurts’ father intimated that his son could very well transfer out of Saban’s program, although the coach subsequently stated that the quarterback, on track to graduate in December, would remain at the university in order to earn his diploma from the school. Tagovailoa also added to the drama this offseason by acknowledging that he would’ve transferred if he hadn’t played in the title game.
Regardless of how it all ultimately plays out, it seems highly likely that either Hurts or Tagovailoa won’t be in a Crimson Tide uniform when the 2019 season rolls around.