Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts isn’t like former Alabama quarterbacks.
He’s not a game manager like A.J. McCarron or Greg McElroy. Hurts is a playmaker and can do so with both his arm and his feet. His play to date has put the freshman’s name in the Heisman Trophy conversation.
Gene Stallings has history at both schools in the top-10 matchup between Alabama and Texas A&M this weekend. He played for the Aggies, but was an assistant on the coaching staff for the Crimson Tide’s national titles in 1961 and 1964 and then returned to coach Alabama to a national title in 1992 after winning the 1993 Sugar Bowl over Miami. He holds a 70-16-1 record as the head coach of the Crimson Tide.
He knows the program inside and out and knows how to coach a quarterback. Thursday he compared Hurts’ early play to that of another former SEC QB in Johnny Manziel in an interview with WNSP 105.5
“Johnny Manziel was an electric-type quarterback, and I think this young man at Alabama is the same type,” Stallings said. “He can run. He can get out of trouble. He’s an accurate passer. He doesn’t turn the ball over. I think for a true freshman, he’s doing a fabulous job.”
Hurts has a 63.5 percent completion percentage so far this season with 113 completions for 1,385 yards. He has thrown for nine touchdowns and has another eight on the ground with 428 rushing yards.