Jalen Hurts Changes His Jersey Number
The Philadelphia Eagles announced a handful of number changes and announcement for incoming free agents, but the first and most notable change involved its starting quarterback, Jalen Hurts. After wearing the same #2 he wore for the Alabama Crimson Tide and in high school for his rookie season, Hurts will switch to the #1, the same number he wore during his one season with the Oklahoma Sooners.
The single digit wasn't available when Hurts was drafted 53rd-overall in the 2020 NFL Draft by Philadelphia as punter Cameron Johnston held the uno. However, Johnston has since moved on to kick for the Houston Texans.
The #1 wasn't available to Hurts at Alabama either. When he signed as a freshman with the Tide in 2016, fellow freshman Ben Davis was given the number, but offensively senior wide receiver Robert Foster was number one in the program.
While Davis held on to the number throughout his Crimson Tide career, number one was available in 2018, but after already establishing himself as #2, Hurts didn't switch at Alabama.
No offensive player for Alabama has worn the number one since Robert Foster. Freshman cornerback Ga'Quincy McKinstry will wear number one in 2021.
The number one has become a popular number for quarterbacks in the NFL in recent years.
Cam Newton chose number one after Jimmy Clausen refused to give up #2 when Newton was drafted to replace him as the first-overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Newton could have changed back to #2, however, the NFL has a rule in place that players have to buy back unsold inventory of replica jerseys when they switch numbers. Seeing as Cam Newton was a superstar then, it made sense he wouldn't switch after Clausen suddenly moved back to the #7 he wore at Notre Dame.
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Newton spurned the popularity, without a doubt. With Hurts's number change, four starting quarterbacks will wear #1:
- Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
- Cam Newton, New England Patriots
- Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
- and finally Hurts himself.
With two highly regarded quarterback prospects that wear the slim digit expected to go in the top-10 of the 2021 NFL Draft, Justin Fields of Ohio State and BYU's Zach Wilson, that number could rise to six.
Hurts started four games for the Philadelphia Eagles as a rookie, throwing for 1061 yards, six touchdowns to four interceptions on 52% completion percentage. He added 354 yards and three touchdowns on 63 rushing attempts.
The Philadelphia Eagles front office made it clear in early March the team would puts its resources behind Hurts as the starting quarterback. After trading away Carson Wentz and trading back to the 12th-overall pick from the sixth in April's draft, it seems they intend to keep their word.