Entering Monday, Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts was entrenched as a sophomore starter who had led his team to back-to-back national title game appearances.
By the time Tuesday morning rolled around, media pundits were projecting his potential transfer destinations after being benched at halftime of the College Football Playoff national title game against Georgia. Such is life as a high-profile college football quarterback these days.
During an interview on The Dan Patrick Show, former Alabama QB and current ESPN college football analyst Greg McElroy was asked to weigh in on the brewing quarterback controversy in Tuscaloosa between Hurts and freshman Tua Tagovailoa, who led the Crimson Tide on a second-half comeback during the 26-23 overtime victory in Atlanta.
McElroy told Patrick that he believes Hurts could be the one to bail on Alabama, and that it could result in a move to Tom Herman’s Texas Longhorns.
“I think that’s a real possibility,” McElroy said of a potential Hurts transfer. “He’s from Texas and the Texas Longhorns are in the quarterback market. And, by the way, he didn’t redshirt. So when he does transfer — if he does — and I would assume that’s what he will do because he’s a quarterback and it’s hard to go to a guy and say ‘You mind playing outside linebacker? Are you good moving to running back?’ Not a lot of guys take kindly to that move, especially at the collegiate level.
“I do think that it would be very interesting. He’d be a sought-after guy with all the experience he had and knowing that he’d have a year to really focus and hone in on his skills and still would have two years of eligibility remaining. I think it’s Tua’s show [at Alabama] moving forward. It was pretty clear and evident that he provides a threat through the air that we just haven’t seen from Alabama in a few years.”
Hurts has not made any public comment on a potential decision to transfer. McElroy’s comments came on the heels of Lane Kiffin’s appearance on the show earlier in the day, during which he revealed that Tagovailoa may have been the one looking to transfer had he not received his chance to shine during the national title game.
It is fair to say that Hurts has his problems as a passer at times, but like McElroy explained, he’d be a major commodity for a team looking to slot an experienced quarterback into a roster that could make use of his championship-level play. Texas could fix that mold after Year 1 of the Herman era.
You can listen to McElroy’s full response to Patrick’s question about the quarterback fallout after Alabama’s national title victory here: