Jalen Hurts’ future at Alabama has been a hot topic lately, and curiosity is growing about whether the quarterback will remain in Tuscaloosa throughout the coming season. But an anonymous college coach explained why the junior might have the edge over Tua Tagovailoa in the Crimson Tide’s competition to see who will start behind center.
The coach pointed out that “you’ve got to have guys who can move back there in today’s game,” as reported by ESPN’s Chris Low. This coach seemed to give Hurts the advantage when considering each player’s mobility.
Here’s more from Low’s story:
On the field, Tagovailoa’s ability to throw the ball down the field, coupled with Hurts’ inconsistency in that area over the past two years, would seem to give Tagovailoa the edge in a lot of the fans’ eyes. But one head coach noted that Hurts is still more of a proven commodity, and that his ability to create and improvise puts pressure on defenses that makes him difficult to prepare for, particularly when he’s surrounded by Alabama’s offensive line and skill people.
“You’ve got to have guys who can move back there in today’s game, and I know [Tagovailoa] can, but not like Hurts,” the head coach said. “Hurts is like a running back back there, but he also sees the field and has a great arm. And when you have Alabama’s talent around him, he’s even more dangerous. It’s going to be hard to keep them both, but it’s a problem a lot of us would like to have.”
Recently, it has been rare to read or hear an opinion that favors Hurts over Tagovailoa. Of course, many observers remember how Tagovailoa led Alabama to a memorable second-half comeback in the National Championship Game against Georgia in January. In that game, the young player showed an ability to stretch defenses with his deep-passing ability.
But the anonymous coach has a point that Hurts is more of a known asset. The player has posted a 26-2 record as Alabama’s starting quarterback, and he led the Crimson Tide to two consecutive appearances in the national title game.
In time, we could see Tagovailoa named the Crimson Tide’s starter before Alabama opens the season against Louisville on Sept. 1. But Hurts does have attributes that coach Nick Saban must consider before charting his program’s course for the future.