Jalen Hurts’ First NFL Touch
When you look up the word resilience a picture appears of a 6-foot1 223-pound quarterback. With a calm demeanor that projects confidence alongside a uncanny sense of humbleness and hunger for the biggest moments. As Jalen Hurts stepped on the field for the Philadelphia Eagles for the second time today the legend continues to grow.
As a three star recruit out of Texas, Hurts would receive a scholarship for the Tide and became the backup quarterback to Blake Barnett in the 2016 season. His name would be called though in the season opener vs No. 23 USC as Nick Saban would place him in the fire due to the offense needing a spark.
His first play would be a lost fumble on muffed hand off.
He calmly jogged back to sideline and got coached up and went on to become one the most decorated player in college football history. He would finish the game with four touchdowns as the Tide steam rolled the Trojans 52-0 AND went on to post magnificent numbers with 2,780 passing yards, 23 TDs through the air in addition to 954 yards on the ground and 13 rushing TDs. Being named the 2016 SEC Offensive Player and Freshman of the Year while leading the Tide to a National Championship appearance.
The following year Jalen continued to win. He guided the Tide to a 13-1 record and another National Title appearance. But we all know the this part of the story, he struggled to move the ball down field and generate points and would subsequently be benched in favor of freshman quarterback at the time in Tua Tagovailoa.
Then this happened
Hurts cheered and celebrated his teammates even when that success came at his own expense. He would continue to do so his junior year as he served as the back up to Tagovailoa.
He could’ve transferred and saved his season, he could’ve quit from the sheer embarrassment of losing his job in the biggest stage of his life, but he continued to fight and preserve through it all. This level of tenacity and grit would pay off in the SEC Championship in 2018. Tagovailoa injured his ankle and had to be helped off the field. It was up to #2 to step up and save the program that ultimately discarded him. Poetic justice at it’s finest.
He showed poise, improved footwork and accuracy, and his running ability as he put the team on his shoulders and carried us to two iconic scoring drives to tie and ultimately win the game and put the Tide back into the College Football Playoffs.
Hurt’s would take his talents to Oklahoma for his senior year where he led the Big 12 in passer efficiency rating, completion percentage and total touchdowns. This Cinderella story would be capped of by pushing his team to a College Football Playoff appearance while finishing 2nd in the Heisman voting. He was selected in the 2nd round with the 53rd pick to Philadelphia Eagles.
Fast forward to 9/27/20 Jalen Hurts would get his first NFL touch in an NFL game. A journey filled with various turns and plot twist led to a dream being realized.
With Carson Wentz seeming to be on the decline, Jalen’s number can be called at any moment but whatever the result may be, us as a community are rooting for him every step of the way.