Alabama football has no shortage of former star players on hand for big events like last night’s national championship. One of the most popular Crimson Tide players in recent years, Jalen Hurts, was on hand for the post-game festivities.
Hurts played at Alabama from 2016-2018, winning the starting job early on as a freshman. That stretch certainly had its ups and downs, but Hurts won the respect of his teammates and Alabama fans everywhere.
After winning SEC Freshman and Offensive Player of the Year in 2016, Alabama reached the national championship, where it fell to Deshaun Watson and Clemson 35-31. The following year, the Crimson Tide appeared to be in trouble in the same game, this time against SEC East power Georgia. Nick Saban made the bold decision to insert Tua Tagovailoa into the lineup, replacing the struggling Hurts. The freshman led the Tide to a 26–23 overtime win.
Hurts lost the starting job to Tua in 2018, but amid months of speculation, opted to stay at Alabama for the year to finish his degree. In the 2018 SEC Championship, he came in for an injured Tua, and in a situation eerily similar to the one the year before but with the quarterbacks reversed, led a comeback win over Georgia. He’d go on to play his final year at Oklahoma, but Alabama fans have stuck with him through his career. Last night, he got to see some of his former teammates win it all in person.
Jalen Hurts pulled up to the Bama locker room to celebrate 🏆
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 12, 2021
Hurts has had a strange few weeks. After winning the Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback job over Carson Wentz late in the year, he was shockingly benched late in the team’s Week 17 game against the Washington Football Team, a pretty clear sign that the franchise did not want to win the game and fall in the NFL Draft pecking order. Hurts was not happy with the decision based on his sideline demeanor.
Just yesterday, hours before Alabama’s national championship game kicked off, the coach that made that decision, Doug Pederson, was abruptly fired.
There is plenty to figure out about what this means for his pro career, but for now, I’m sure Jalen Hurts is basking in the glory of yet another Alabama football national title.