Alabama's 2018 quarterback situation remains unsettled. It looks like it might be that way for quite a while, too.
Nick Saban has two starting-caliber QBs on his roster in Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts. Is he going to end up picking one of them (and potentially prompting the other to transfer) or will he play both of them?
Alabama's head coach spoke on this topic in a recent interview with USA TODAY. He can see both guys playing.
"We kind of did when A.J. (McCarron) was a young player and Philip Sims," Saban said. "Not quite the same because neither one of those guys had played, they were just both high-profile guys. So look, my responsibility and obligation to the two players is to be fair and honest with each player and give them every opportunity to compete and play if they deserve it.
"And my responsibility and obligation to the team is play the best players. And that would be at any position so why would it be different at quarterback?"
Tagovailoa is definitely the favorite to win the job. If he does, and Hurts eventually decides to transfer, where would he go?
Five schools have been named options.
5 potential transfer options for Jalen Hurts
Earlier this year, Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples laid out some options.
Would the Houston-area native head back to his home state and play in the Big 12? He’d fit well in the offenses at Texas and TCU. If he were to watch video of Quinton Flowers playing for Willie Taggart at South Florida, he might be intrigued by the idea of playing in that offense for Taggart at Florida State.
Hurts is a native of Channelview, Texas, just outside Houston. Texas A&M is the most local Power Five program, and one that was the main competition to Alabama in his recruitment. It is highly unlikely that he will be allowed to become an Aggie though, as he would then face Alabama every year.
Greg McElroy also thinks the Longhorns are a strong option, should Jalen Hurts transfer. From an interview with The Dan Patrick Show earlier in the year:
“I think that’s a real possibility,” McElroy said of a potential Hurts transfer. “He’s from Texas and the Texas Longhorns are in the quarterback market. And, by the way, he didn’t redshirt. So when he does transfer– if he does– and I would assume that’s what he will do because he’s a quarterback and it’s hard to go to a guy and say ‘You mind playing outside linebacker? Are you good moving to running back?’ Not a lot of guys take kindly to that move, especially at the collegiate level.
TCU has a recent history of using dual-threat quarterbacks like Hurts well, and the Horned Frogs are a pretty consistent program in his home state. There are few coaches with a better reputation than Gary Patterson.
Florida State is also very intriguing. Willie Taggart turned Quinton Flowers into one of the most dynamic dual-threat quarterbacks in college football during his time at USF. He accounted for 11,739 total yards as a Bull.
There's a chance that Hurts could also drop down to a smaller school, although he probably won't need to. However, Houston has been a Group of Five power, turning into one of the best schools outside of the Power Five under Tom Herman. Also, keep an eye on whatever happens with Lane Kiffin. FAU may not land Jalen Hurts, but if he plays out the year at Alabama, and Kiffin moves on to a bigger job, which is definitely in play, that could be an option. Kiffin was one of the lead recruiters for Hurts at Alabama, and obviously got a lot out of him as offensive coordinator for the Crimson Tide. It wouldn't be shocking to see Jalen Hurts transfer and join Kiffin at a bigger school, if he moves on from FAU to a Power Five job.
It seems unlikely that Hurts will be making a decision anytime soon. Stay tuned.