Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts has put his name in the NCAA transfer portal, according to several reports.
This move is hardly unexpected, and many have speculated on Hurts’ future — including Sporting News — since Tua Tagovailoa stepped in for the Crimson Tide in a 26-23 victory against Georgia in the 2017 College Football Playoff championship game.
Hurts would be an excellent get for another FBS program if he does indeed transfer. He led Alabama to two College Football Playoff appearances and stepped in for Tagovailoa to lead the Tide to a win in this year’s SEC championship game. Here are some schools to keep an eye on:
There’s the connection with former Tide offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, and Hurts would be a good bet to start for the Terrapins. Playing time wouldn’t be an issue, but how would he respond on an undermanned roster that would be up against Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State?
Dana Holgorsen takes over for the Cougars and needs a quarterback to build on in his first season, but getting the Channelview, Texas native would be a massive coup. Will Grier played well in Holgorsen’s system, and Hurts would get every opportunity to show he has improved as a passer.
This fits. Oklahoma quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray have won the Heisman Trophy each of the last two seasons. If Murray chooses baseball over football, which is a good bet, Lincoln Riley could foster a competition with Austin Kendall in fall camp. If Hurts wins that battle, then he could put up big numbers here.
Could you imagine? Hurts will create a massive overreaction if he stays in the SEC, but this would be less dramatic than if he stayed in the SEC West with Texas A&M, Arkansas or Auburn. This appears to be the most realistic in-conference landing spot, however, and that’s because of former Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. That would take the Third Saturday in October in Tuscaloosa up a few notches, too.
Lane Kiffin worked with Hurts as a freshman at Alabama, and getting him to Boca Raton would immediately make the Owls one of the most interesting teams in the Group of 5. The question for Hurts, however, is would he be able to prove enough to scouts by playing in C-USA after playing in the SEC for three years? Would this stage be big enough?
The Bruins are a wild card, but Chip Kelly could make this work. He used transfer quarterbacks at Oregon in the past. Hurts would be in a far less-pressured situation with the Bruins, and it’s a quarterback-friendly system that should enhance his development.
Hurts would fit in well with the Nittany Lions, and brings a similar skill set that outgoing quarterback Trace McSorley has. The issue here is Tommy Stevens has waited his turn in Happy Valley, playing a selfless role similar to Hurts’ in order to get more playing time. Would James Franklin be willing to shake that up?
New Mountaineers coach Neal Brown has no obvious connection to Hurts, but the playing time would be there, given Grier has taken the next step to the NFL. Hurts would put up numbers at any Big 12 school — we said as much if Oklahoma became an option — but a veteran quarterback is always good for a first-year transition in the Power 5.