Even when Jalen Hurts wins he still can’t win.
Despite his proven accomplishments in college, NFL doubters are still, frustratingly, questioning whether he’s a true NFL quarterback.
At Alabama, he became the first true freshman to start for the Tide since Vince Sutton in 1984. That season he threw for 2,780 yards with 23 TDs and 9 INTs. He also rushed for 954 yards rushing and 13 TDs. He broke Blake Sims’ school record for total TDs in a single season (35) and became the first player in Alabama history to throw for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in a single game.
If that wasn’t enough, he quarterbacked the Crimson Tide to a perfect 12-0 regular season, won SEC Offensive Player of the Year, and led them to the National Championship where they lost to Deshaun Watson and Clemson, 35-31.
“A legend is born here tonight in Tampa,” exclaimed ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit after Hurts broke the Tigers’ ankles en route to a 30-yard TD run.
Had Alabama pulled out the win, Hurts would have been the second true freshman starting quarterback to win a National Championship since Jamelle Holieway did it with the Sooners in 1985.
But it wasn’t good enough for critics.
The next year Hurts did it again. This time he led the Tide to a 12-1 record and another National Championship birth. But his ineffective first half led to his benching, opening the door for Tua Tagovailoa.
Jalen was forced to watch Tua from the bench during his junior season. Then Tua was injured in the SEC Championship and Nick Saban recalled Hurts from purgatory. Jalen answered the call and responded with 110 total yards and 2 TDs, leading Alabama to a 35-28 come-from-behind victory over Georgia.
Despite his heroics, Jalen was exiled back to the bench in the National Championship in favor of Tua, where the Tide fell to Clemson again.
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