If you’ve been on Twitter or pay attention to college football at all, you already know that quarterback Jalen Hurts has put his name into the transfer portal, and could potentially be leaving Alabama.
As is well documented, the Hurricanes are looking for a new quarterback to bring in and battle N’Kosi Perry and Jarren Williams for the starting job in 2019. New head coach Manny Diaz has stressed this a great deal since being hired, and Hurts would be a top-get for the Canes. So far Miami has exactly zero quarterbacks signed in the 2019 recruiting class, so gaining a transfer QB is a necessity in Coral Gables.
As a two-year starter for Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide, Hurts’ resume is impressive to say the least. Hurts is 26-2 as a starter, former SEC Offensive Player of the Year, and led Alabama to two-straight national championship game appearances.
Even after losing the starting quarterback job to Tua Tagovailoa, Hurts continued to step up whenever he was called on, including leading a comeback in the SEC Championship game against Georgia once Tua was injured.
Mixed speculation has spread throughout Twitter since it was announced Hurts was looking to transfer.
Miami not listed for Jalen Hurts is surprising. https://t.co/kE6KrUE3RD— Andrew Ivins (@Andrew_Ivins) January 9, 2019
Though BetDSI didn’t have Miami as a possible landing-spot for Hurts, as the day went on the talk of the Bama QB and the Hurricanes increased.
FWIW, Jalen Hurts has now followed Manny Diaz, Brevin Jordan and DeeJay Dallas since Hurts entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal.— Josh White (@_JoshRWhite) January 10, 2019
Canes twitter, do as you wish with that information.
With one year left of eligibility, the Houston native has of course drawn much attention from teams around the country, including programs like TCU, Maryland and even Florida State.
A major factor for Hurts’ decision to come to Miami could possibly be the hiring of potential offensive coordinator Major Applewhite. While serving as coordinator at Houston, Applewhite and the Cougars were one of the first teams to offer Hurts during his recruitment.
If Applewhite and Hurts were to come together in Coral Gables, it would seem like a perfect fit. In Applewhite’s offense in 2018, Houston quarterback D’Eriq King not only threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 36 touchdowns, he also ran for 14 scores and over 600 yards. As a dual-threat QB himself, Hurts has two seasons where he ran for over 800 yards, and in 2016, he scored 13 touchdowns just running the football.
Throwing the ball, Hurts’ stats aren’t going to blow you or anyone out of the building. Besides his career completion percentage of 62%, nothing really stands out too much. In 2017, he barely eclipsed 2,000 yards throwing and threw just 17 touchdowns. So is he a 4,000 yard passer? No. Is he gonna come to Miami and toss 50 touchdowns? Probably not. What he does have though, are wins, leadership and composure.
As mentioned before, Hurts is 26-2 as a starter, and this was in the SEC West, imagine what he could do in the ACC Coastal division. In those 26 wins, 15 of them came against top-25 teams. Just to give a little comparison, Miami has 10 wins against top-25 teams in the last decade. Also to note, one of those losses for Hurts was to Clemson in the national championship, when his defense gave up a game-winning touchdown with one second left.
In his three seasons at Bama, Hurts was no stranger to clutch performances and coming from behind. Whether it was at Mississippi State in 2017, or against Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs in the conference championship this past December, #2 was able to deliver.
Being brought up on Nick Saban’s team, Hurts is also a smart player. In 2017, Hurts threw just one interception all season, ONE. As we’ve seen the past several years (ever since Ken Dorsey, really) accuracy hasn’t been too kind to the quarterbacks of Miami. He’s also been able to adapt quickly, having two offensive coordinators and two co-OC’s through his three years in Tuscaloosa.
This is exactly the kind of player and person that Miami is looking for at the most important position of quarterback. The kind of composure that Hurts was able to showcase not just on the field, but also off the gridiron in the midst of losing the starting job and throughout the year was impressive. Not only is his experience desperately needed, but also his maturity is something, to be frank, has been lacking from Miami quarterbacks.
As the Hurricanes ease into the Manny Diaz era, leadership is going to be needed as distractions are far too common with this program lately, and a seasoned veteran will serve as an asset to UM, and that’s what Hurts brings to the table.