If he doesn't win the Alabama quarterback battle, could we see Jalen Hurts at a different position? Maybe, but one Alabama insider doesn't think it is the best move.
Hurts is going up against Tua Tagovailoa for the starting quarterback position. Hurts won the job a game into the 2016 season, and has led the Crimson Tide to back-to-back national championship game appearances.
Of course, it was Tagovailoa who sealed the 2017 title victory against Georgia. The Bulldogs defense effectively bottled up Hurts, and Tagovailoa was able to take the top off of it and lead Alabama to a comeback win when he came in at halftime.
Tagovailoa is widely expected to win the job, whenever that decision is made. It is likely that the battle will last into the season.
At SEC Media Days, Nick Saban admitted that he didn't know for sure if Jalen Hurts would even be in Tuscaloosa to start the season. Hurts has reportedly informed his coach that he will definitely be on the roster when Alabama travels to Orlando to open up against Louisville.
BamaOnline's Travis Reier weighed in on the possibility of Alabama finding another role for Jalen Hurts in the offense, if he doesn't start at quarterback.
While another roster may be able to do so, Reier thinks that Alabama has too much talent across the board for it to really make sense. From 247Sports:
“(A position switch) would feel manufactured or forced than anything,” Reier said. “Looking at what (Alabama) has and who they have. They utilize guys in a way in which they can get matchups based on formations with any of the guys. I mean, Jalen would be going up against Henry Ruggs in the slot. That’s tough. I think Nick believes there are some situational packages Alabama could use Jalen in instead of another position, but again, that goes back to how he’s going to sell that to Jalen.
“I think at a lot of programs, that would be an easy sort of move for him. The problem Jalen has at Alabama is that they’ve got big-time guys already in those spots. They’re not void of options. Even from a depth standpoint, they’ve still got dudes. That’s the dilemma with Jalen (playing a position) other than quarterback. It’s not as easy as some people think. Forget about the personnel, there’s some nuances that have to be taken into account.”
There is also a question about whether Hurts would be open to a position change. If it was a situational thing, I'm sure he'd like to help the team however he can. Still, if he views his future at quarterback, and plans to play QB somewhere else after his December graduation, which is being hinted at by just about everyone at this point, pulling his attention away from developing at that spot may not be the most wise thing.