The Alabama spring game was held today. The Crimson Tide off-season has featured one of the most intriguing quarterback battles in college football. Unfortunately, Tua Tagovailoa suffered an injury to his hand a few weeks ago, and aggravated it in the run up to A-Day. That left Jalen Hurts as the lone contender for the starting job at today's game.
There has been a ton of speculation about whether Hurts will leave Alabama. Even with the injury, there seems like a very good chance that Tagovailoa is the favorite to win the job in the end. Hurts has been the primary starter for the Crimson Tide over the last two seasons, but it was Tagovailoa that came in and led the team to the national championship in January.
During the A-Day game, Hurts was very up-and-down. He finished 19-of-37 for 195 yards.
Late in the game, with his side down, Hurts threw a hail mary interception. He added 71 yards on the ground.
After one scramble, Nick Saban was caught by ESPN microphones criticizing the rising junior quarterback. He was not happy with how he'd been throwing the ball.
The third team quarterback in question is true freshman Mac Jones, who impressed during the Alabama spring game.
Jones was 23-for-35 for 289 yards. He tossed two touchdowns, and was picked off once.
Of course, it isn't a totally fair comparison. Hurts faced one of the best defenses in the country, year-in and year-out. There were obviously some talented players opposite of Jones as well, but those were mostly back-ups and other young players.
If anything, Saban's criticism probably shows that Hurts is very much still part of the program. The transfer rumors flared up this week when Hurts's father had this to say to Bleacher Report:
“Coach Saban’s job is to do what’s best for his team. I have no problem with that,” Averion Hurts said. “My job is to do what’s best for Jalen—and make no mistake, Jalen is a quarterback, and he wants to play quarterback. He loves Alabama, loves Coach Saban and everything about that place. But he wants to play, and he will play…”
Averion stops mid-sentence because the idea of his son not playing for Alabama isn’t one he takes lightly. What if Jalen doesn’t win the job, he is asked?
He shakes his head slowly, answers begrudgingly. “Well, he’d be the biggest free agent in college football history.”
Saban has previously talked about his discussions of the situation with Averion Hurts. For better or worse, we probably won't know what the future holds for Jalen Hurts for a few months, even after a shaky Alabama spring game performance.