Alabama enters the College Football Playoff with the chance to cement a legacy not only as back-to-back champions, but one of the great teams in college football history.
We continue our countdown of the top 10 players who got Alabama to this point. With Alabama’s talent, any number of players could make this list. Give us your own on Twitter or our Alabama Insiders Facebook page.
No. 4 Jalen Hurts
Why he’s here: A serious case could be made that Hurts should be the No. 1 player on this list. Seriously, if Alabama lost Hurts at quarterback, who would it turn to at this point?
But given the season some of Alabama’s defenders have had, we placed them slightly ahead of Hurts based on production.
When Alabama pulled Blake Barnett after two series in the Southern Cal game, it was clear Nick Saban and the coaching staff were ready to take the good and the bad with the true freshman.
There was some bad throughout the year, but there was way more good from Hurts.
Alabama doesn’t beat Ole Miss or LSU without Hurts. The LSU game sticks out in particular. LSU stifled everything Alabama did on offense for three quarters.
Then Hurts found a crease early in the fourth, breaking off a 21-yard touchdown run. That was a season-defining play from a true freshman in one of the toughest places to play in all of college football.
— Jaison Davis (@JaiHawkFly) November 6, 2016
Hurts has thrown for 2,592 yards and 22 touchdowns and rushed for 841 yards and 12 touchdowns on the year.
Hurts racked up plenty of honors for his play as well.
Hurts was named to the First-Team All-SEC and was voted SEC Offensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year.
Hurts is two wins away from putting a stamp on another championship season.
What’s ahead in 2017
Hurts will enter the offseason as the unquestioned starter which should give him plenty of opportunities to gain chemistry with his receivers without worrying about competing for the job.
It wouldn’t be shocking if Hurts took a big leap as a passer given the fact that he won’t have to worry about a gameplan each week during the spring and the summer.
Given the way Alabama has recruited and is recruiting, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Hurts has the Tide back in the College Football Playoff next season and the year after that.
Alabama Top 10 players
No. 10: DB Anthony Averett
No. 9: LT Cam Robinson
No. 8: FS Ronnie Harrison
No. 7: OLB Tim Williams
No. 6: LB Ryan Anderson
No. 5: WR ArDarius Stewart
No. 4: QB Jalen Hurts