For the second year in a row, Lincoln Riley insisted a transfer quarterback would have to win his QB1 job. For the second year in a row, that transfer has won the job.
Oklahoma on Monday announced Jalen Hurts will be the Sooners’ starting quarterback, the second high-profile transfer of the day to book an expected win in a quarterback derby.
Hurts beat out redshirt freshman Tanner Mordecai and true freshman Spencer Rattler to win the job.
A senior from Houston, Hurts went 26-2 as a starter at Alabama. He famously led Alabama to the CFP national championship game as a true freshman before the Tide were undone by Clemson at the buzzer. He took Alabama back to the championship game as a sophomore but was replaced by Tua Tagovailoa at halftime, sparking an Alabama comeback win over Georgia.
In 42 total appearances, Hurts completed 63 percent of his passes for 5,626 yards with 48 touchdowns against just 12 interceptions while rushing for 1,976 yards and 23 touchdowns. Hurts played his best football in limited action last season, completing 51-of-70 passes for 765 yards with eight touchdowns against two picks. He carried Alabama past Georgia in the SEC Championship, hitting 7-of-9 throws for 82 yards and a touchdown while rushing five times for 28 yards and a touchdown.
At Oklahoma, Hurts will spearhead an offense that has led the nation in total offense and yards per play over the past two seasons and won the scoring title in 2018. The two guys who held the job ahead of him — Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray — went on to win the Heisman Trophy. Hurts will have a different challenge than his predecessors as he inherits an offensive line that returns only starting center Creed Humphrey, though the Sooners have All-American candidates around him in wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, tight end Grant Calcaterra and running back Kennedy Brooks.
Oklahoma, ranked No. 4 in the AP poll, will open its season on Sunday, Sept. 1 against Houston (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC).