It would have been easy for Jalen Hurts to be sour after what happened to him. Even following a national championship win. But the Alabama quarterback showed he was all class in the moments after an emotional overtime victory against Georgia.
After falling behind 13-0 to Georgia, Hurts was replaced by freshman QB Tua Tagovailoa at halftime. The Hawaiian lefty led the Crimson Tide to a 26-23 come-from-behind victory, instantly becoming a hero while Hurts stood on the sidelines to watch.
ESPN cameras found Hurts amid the Crimson Tide celebration, and sideline reporter Tom Rinaldi secured an interview with the Alabama starting quarterback.
Rinaldi, who is known for his ability to craft a tear-jerking moment for ESPN through his extensive work on off-the-field sports features, went straight for the emotional angle by asking Hurts to describe how he felt in the moment he learned that Tagovailoa would replace him to begin the second half of play.
“He was going to step in and do his thing,” Hurts said. “We have a lot of guys in the QB room who play really well. He just stepped in and did his thing for the team.”
Rinaldi then asked Hurts what his message was to Tagovailoa during the second half. Hurts could often be seen on camera jumping into the huddle on the sidelines and offering what appeared to be words of encouragement for his young teammate.
“Ball. Play your game,” Hurts said he told Tagovailoa. “He’s destine for stuff like this. He’s built for stuff like this. He has that ‘it’ factor. I’m so happy for him and for this team.”
You can watch Rinaldi’s full post-game interview with Hurts here: