Former Oklahoma signal-caller Jalen Hurts is the new starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, and the news doesn’t seem to be surprising to Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley. Riley spoke with NJ Advance Media about the topic this week.
Riley, who coached Hurts for one season after the quarterback transferred from Alabama to OU, made it clear that Hurts’ experience has allowed him to prepare for his NFL shot on Sunday.
He noted that Hurts has a ton of experience for his age. He isn’t wrong.
“I think he’s worked really hard, and I’m always excited about the opportunity,” Riley told NJ Advance Media. “You never know in this game how your opportunities are going to come, and you just have to be ready to make the most of them. He’s experienced a lot for a guy his age. He’s been a starter as a young player, and he’s been a champion at two different schools. He’s been a backup and had to come into new situations. He’s had to do a little bit of everything. I think all those different situations will help prepare him to be ready.”
Hurts won the starting job at Alabama in 2016 as a freshman in the team’s second game of the season. But he lost it midway through the national title game in his sophomore year to Tua Tagovailoa. He stuck with Alabama another season, serving as a backup, and helped the team win the SEC title in historic fashion.
He then used the grad transfer rule to transfer to Oklahoma and play immediately. He led the Sooners to a Big 12 title and a College Football Playoff appearance.
Hurts was drafted in the second round of this past year’s draft, but most analysts would never have imagined him getting a shot at the starting gig over Carson Wentz. But Wentz has struggled mightily this year, and the Eagles clearly want to see what they have in Hurts.
Hurts and the Eagles will take on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at 4:25 PM ET on FOX.