Jalen Hurts, who quarterbacked the Alabama Crimson Tide for two years before being ousted from the starting position by Tua Tagovailoa, has announced that he will be transferring to the Oklahoma Sooners for the 2019 season.
Hurts graduated from Alabama in December after earning a degree in public relations. That means that he will be pursuing a graduate degree at Oklahoma, at least during his one year of remaining eligibility for football.
Hurts Reflects Fondly on Time at Alabama
Hurts made the announcement by writing an article for the Player’s Tribune on Wednesday, just two days after Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray officially declared that he would not be playing his senior year at Oklahoma, and would instead enter the 2019 NFL Draft.
The loss of their start quarterback made the Sooners an ideal destination for Hurts, who has already proven that he can win with an elite program.
“I’ve decided to take my talents to the University of Oklahoma, where I will continue my development as both a quarterback and as a student,” Hurts wrote. “I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity, and I’m excited for the journey ahead.”
Hurts repeatedly wrote about his appreciation for his time in Alabama. There were a number of high and low moments, from being benched in favor of Tagovailoa during the 2018 National Championship Game to coming off the bench to lead Alabama to a comeback victory in the SEC Championship Game against Georgia in December.
“Now I’m Bama for LIFE – and that right there will never change,” Hurts wrote. “But now it’s also time for me to start a new chapter in my story.”
Hurts Has Shot at Heisman, National Title
Hurts will have the chance to put up Heisman Trophy-worthy numbers with the Sooners. Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley has managed to consistently produce one of the best offenses in the country for several years now, and the Sooners are coming off an appearance in the College Football Playoff. While Hurts is more of a run-first quarterback than Murray was, that’s unlikely to slow Oklahoma’s offensive production.
That’s likely why Hurts chose Oklahoma over other potential suitors, including Miami and Maryland, who are far less likely to be in the hunt for a National Championship. Meanwhile, Oklahoma will be happy to take on a star quarterback for just one year, as they have two young signal callers – freshman Tanner Mordecai and new recruit Spencer Rattler – who seem set to battle for the position in 2020.
During his three years at Alabama, Hurts completed 62.9 percent of his passes, throwing for 5,626 yards and 48 touchdowns against just 12 interceptions. He also ran for 23 touchdowns during that span.
According to Bovada, Oklahoma is a +1200 choice to win a championship, a relative longshot behind favorites Clemson (+170) and Alabama (+230). Hurts has personally opened as a +800 pick to win the Heisman Trophy, trailing only Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (+200) and Tagovailoa (+500).