Lane Kiffin has made it a habit to rib and joke about the state of the Alabama program since he left to become the coach at Florida Atlantic. But on Thursday afternoon he spoke out in favor of Alabama and its quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Hurts’ father made some rather controversial comments regarding his son’s future at Alabama and the possibility of a transfer or changing positions. Kiffin, appearing on SiriusXM’s Playbook’s with Jason Horowitz and Andy Staples, shot down the idea that he should change positions.
“Someone asked me that question about a month ago in an interview. Should he play another position? The guy was the SEC Offensive Player of the Year as a true freshman—the first one since Herschel Walker to do that,” Kiffin said on Thursday . “And you want him to play another position? That doesn’t make any sense to me at all.
“I know while we were there we had a great quarterback that every team in the country would want,” Kiffin said. “He is a great quarterback. He still is.”
Hurts did take a step back last year as he adjusted to Brian Daboll’s offense from Kiffin’s. In his sophomore season, Hurts posted a lower completion percentage and threw few touchdown passes. But he also threw just one interception in his entire sophomore season.
The biggest knock on Hurts’ is that he’s struggled in Alabama’s biggest games, specifically in the College Football Playoff games. But if you have to get that far to start picking nits about a player who is 26-2 as a starter, than you’re in a pretty great spot already.
“I think we all want the same thing for all players that compete on our team regardless of position,” Saban said at his Thursday press conference. “Even though there’s going to be a significant effort on a lot of folks’ part — none in this room obviously — to make this a public thing, but it’s going to be handled in a very private manner. In our conversation, I was very positive and upbeat. Jalen has done a great job. He’s made a significant amount of improvement. His dad was very positive.”
Kiffin meanwhile is dealing with his own quarterback battle at Florida Atlantic. Last season, the Owls went 10-3 under Kiffin and had one of the best offenses in the country, averaging 40.6 points per game. And over the course of his coaching career, Kiffin has shown he knows a thing or two about quarterbacks. So he’s most likely right about Hurts.