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Jalen Hurts' 2018 Future At Alabama Has Been Decided

Jalen Hurts of the Alabama Crimson Tide rolls  out to pass against the Mercer Bears at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 18: Jalen Hurts #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide rolls out to pass against the Mercer Bears at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 18, 2017 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Jalen Hurts appears to have decided his future at Alabama's football program - for the rest of the 2018 college football season, anyway.

We're now into the fifth game of the 2018 college football season and Hurts, the Crimson Tide's backup to Tua Tagovailoa, entered the Crimson Tide's contest against Louisiana.

This might not seem like much, but it's actually pretty significant.

Hurts has now appeared in five games. He is no longer able to take a redshirt season.

Alabama fans were pretty thrilled to see Hurts on the field today.

So, redshirt talk for Hurts is now over. This doesn't mean that he won't transfer out of Alabama after the 2018 season - that still seems likely - but he's set with the Crimson Tide for the rest of this season.

ESPN.com explained his situation at length:

Hurts, a junior who compiled a 26-2 record before losing his starting job to Tua Tagovailoa this year, entered the game to cheers from fans with a 28-0 lead in the first quarter. He will play in a complementary role to Tagovailoa for the rest of the season.

"Jalen has been very, very professional about the way he's sort of handled the situation he's in," Alabama coach Nick Saban said Thursday. "I've said it's a unique situation. Nobody's ever been in this situation before. He won 26 games here and then all of a sudden somebody else is playing. But what he has done is he's worked every day to try to get better."

Hurts is on pace to get his degree in December and is expected to leave shortly thereafter as a graduate transfer, giving him immediate eligibility. If he had not appeared in another game this season and taken a redshirt, he would have had two years of eligibility remaining instead of one.

Alabama and Louisiana are playing on the SEC Network.