After three seasons in Tuscaloosa, Jalen Hurts is headed to the home of back-to-back Heisman Trophy winners.
This past weekend, Hurts took an official visit to Oklahoma. Wednesday, the erstwhile Alabama quarterback confirmed that he has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at OU.
Hurts made the announcement in a lengthy statement released on the Players’ Tribune, one in which he gave a heartfelt goodbye to the place he had called home for nearly four years.
“But the education that I received at Alabama goes beyond a degree,” Hurts wrote in a portion of the missive. “Coach [Nick] Saban taught me the values and principles of business, as well as what it takes to be a great leader. My teammates taught me the importance of togetherness, brotherhood, and love. And this past season……. it taught me a lifetime’s worth of lessons about how to deal with adversity.”
In addition to OU, Hurts took a trip to Maryland and former UA offensive coordinator Mike Locksley this past weekend. Miami was also a consideration, although Tate Martell announced very early Wednesday morning that he would be transferring from Ohio State to The U.
Hurts started every game but one in 2016 and 2017, guiding the Crimson Tide to a 26-2 record in that span. He was under center for the national championship game loss to Clemson after the 2016 season, and was in the same spot for last year’s title game against Georgia until a 13-0 halftime deficit compelled Nick Saban to pull the trigger on a change.
And the rest, as they say, is history, as Tua Tagovailoa played a significant role in a second-half comeback that was capped by the then-true freshman’s game-winning touchdown pass in the first overtime. Amidst criticism from Hurts himself, Tagovailoa won the job ahead of the 2018 season kicking off and, after finishing runner-up in the Heisman Trophy voting, led the Tide into another title game loss to the Tigers earlier this month.
As Tagovailoa will be a true junior in 2019 and is firmly entrenched as the starter, that combination of factors triggered Hurts’ decision to at least explore a transfer.
Hurts graduated from UA last month and is eligible to play immediately with the Sooners in 2019.
With Kyler Murray leaving for either the NFL draft or Major League Baseball, OU will again be looking to replace a Heisman-winning quarterback. One of those thought to be the front-runner for the job, Austin Kendall, is in the NCAA transfer database and is strongly considering a move away from Norman.