THE HURTS FILE
Squatted 500 pounds as high school sophomore, 2014
SEC Freshman of the Year, 2016
SEC Offensive Player of the Year, 2016
CFB National Champion, 2017
CFB Sugar Bowl Offensive MVP, 2017
First-team All-Big 12, 2019
Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year, 2019
By Lenn Robbins
An athlete never knows when adversity will strike or in what form will it take. How a player responds to that adversity is an even greater unknown.
Jalen Hurts had established himself as the starting quarterback at Alabama. He won SEC Freshman of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year. But when Tua Tagovailoa replaced him the following season in the 2017 CFP Championship game and led the Crimson Tide to a come-from-behind national championship, adversity had just found a place in Hurts’ locker.
In the second game of his junior season, Hurts lost the starting job.
Other players might have quit or transferred immediately. Hurts hung tough and replaced an injured Tagovailoa in the Sugar Bowl, leading Bama to a win over rival Georgia. Then he transferred to Oklahoma where he turned in a fantastic season, finishing second in the Heisman Trophy voting.
Don’t expect Hurts to flinch when he faces some big questions as he starts this season as the Eagles starting QB. Philadelphia surprisingly made the playoffs last season behind a power run game. All eyes in Philadelphia will be on Hurts to see if he can take the next step as a passer.
“I saw a more accurate passer in OTAs,” said Eagles coach Nick Soriano. “Now, he’s got to go and continue to improve every single day.”
That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement but it’s encouraging. Combine that with resilience and Hurts might turn out to be a quality NFL starter.