While Alabama’s 2018 quarterback situation has been one of the most publicly-discussed topics of the college football offseason, it’s apparently a topic that hasn’t been discussed much by the parties involved.
By now, you’ve been apprised of the story multiple times. Hurts was replaced by Tua Tagovailoa in the second half of the National Championship Game against Georgia in January. Tagovailoa threw the game-winning touchdown pass in overtime as Hurts watched from the bench.
The two quarterbacks are competing to be Alabama’s starter in 2018 and Hurts said Saturday that he didn’t have much conversation with his coaching staff about the quarterback competition and its effects throughout the spring.
“I think it’s something you just — this is a situation that is uncontrollable,” Hurts said. “Coaches can’t control this situation. They’ll dictate the players but as far as the other variations to it, they don’t control it honestly. And like I said, this whole spring, ever since the game, they kind of wanted to let it play out. They kinda I guess didn’t think it was a thing or tried to let it die down like it wasn’t something there because it’s always been the elephant in the room.”
“For me, no one came up to me the whole spring, coaches included, no one asked me how I felt. No one asked me what was on my mind. No one asked me how I felt about the things that were going on. No one asked me about the future held and that’s that. So now it’s like when we try to handle the situation now, for me it’s kinda late. It’s too late. The narrative has already been created.”
Hurts then went on to compare the situation to the process of cooking.
“As a player you definitely want to feel some concern from your coaches, I guess. I don’t necessarily think they were not concerned, they were definitely concerned. I just don’t think they were, maybe, bold enough to ask. Like it was a ‘I know it’s there but I don’t want to talk about it.’ And I definitely think it was something that should have been talked about. A long time ago. Instead of being talked about when it’s here.
“It’s kind of like a stove. After that game the stove got turned on, the heat got turned up. And now, we put the pot on the stove, now we put the food on the stove, now the food’s cooking. Come the season when it officially starts, the food will be done.”
Hurts’ father said he could be the ‘biggest free agent in college football history’
Hurts said that for “whatever reason” Alabama’s coaching staff didn’t want him to talk publicly in the offseason. That silence from Hurts was more pronounced when his father Averion told Bleacher Report in the spring that Jalen “wants to play and he will play” quarterback at Alabama in 2018. If he transferred, Averion said, Jalen would be the “biggest free agent in college football history.”
Nick Saban said at SEC Media Days that he had “no idea” if Hurts would be on his team’s opening day roster but that he expected him to be with the team. Those comments surprised Hurts.
Jalen Hurts asked about Nick Saban saying he wasn't sure if he'd be on the roster for the season opener: "I was kind of shocked that he said that. … I told him like I'll tell you today, that I'm going to be here. … Why (transfer) when you're 15 hours away (from graduating)?"
— Ben Jones (@BW_Jones) August 4, 2018
As Hurts notes, he has little incentive to transfer in the immediate future. He’ll graduate in December after completing those 15 hours. If he decided to transfer after graduating he would be immediately eligible at his new school as a graduate transfer. If he transfers before graduating he would have to sit out for a year.
The QB competition remains open
Saban was not about to anoint either Hurts or Tagovailoa as the front-runner for the starting quarterback spot on Saturday. In fact, he hinted that they both could see significant playing time.
“As a coaching staff, we have to make a determination as to how we’re going to play the quarterbacks,” Saban said.
“What you guys are totally fixed on is somebody has to be first team and somebody has to be second team. Tell me why … you can’t answer that … Why do you think that way? If there’s people on our team that can contribute why would we not utilize their abilities to be able to contribute to our team in some form or fashion.”
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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