Jalen Hurts went from being a questionable second-round pick to one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in his young four-year career. It wasn’t always smooth for Hurts, but he has led the Philadelphia Eagles to three straight winning seasons and a Super Bowl appearance. That appears to be only the beginning.
Many remember how his college career went as it was an up-and-down roller coaster ride with the Alabama Crimson Tide that ended with spectacular numbers put up for the Oklahoma Sooners. Hurts went through it all and still proved to be one of the best quarterbacks in the country. What did his college stats look like that showed his elite potential at the next level?
Jalen Hurts Shined Early, Ended College Football Career in Style
Hurts arrived on the college scene as a four-star recruit out of Channelview, Texas, where he scored 51 total touchdowns and gained 3,775 yards of total offense in his senior season. Despite significant attention from the Texas A&M Aggies, Alabama beat out their SEC foe to land the highly sought-after star QB.
In his freshman season at Alabama in 2016, Hurts started all but the first game of the year, becoming the first freshman in 30 years to start for the Crimson Tide. He threw for 2,780 yards with 23 touchdowns to nine interceptions.
The young quarterback showcased his dual-threat ability, adding 954 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns while leading Alabama to a 35-31 National Championship Game loss to the Clemson Tigers.
Although the stats could have been better in 2017, Hurts racked up nearly 3,000 yards of total offense and scored 25 total touchdowns with only one interception.
The Alabama QB led the Crimson Tide to the National Championship Game again, this time against the Georgia Bulldogs. Yet, he was benched at halftime, leading to freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa completing a 13-0 comeback to win the national title in overtime 26-23.
Tagovailoa won the starting job for the 2018 season, leaving Hurts on the bench for his junior campaign. Redemption came, however, in the SEC Championship game, where he replaced an injured Tagovailoa and helped the Crimson Tide win the game to remain undefeated.
Sadly for Hurts and the Crimson Tide, Alabama would lose the national title to Clemson, 44-16. The third-year quarterback finished the 2018 campaign with 765 passing yards, eight touchdowns, and two interceptions while adding 167 rushing yards and two more scores.
For Hurts’ final year of eligibility, he decided to transfer to Oklahoma to become the starting quarterback of the Sooners.
He started all 14 games, producing career-highs in every category, including passing yards (3,851), passing touchdowns (32), rushing yards (1,298), and rushing touchdowns (20). Hurts would come second in the Heisman Trophy race, losing to LSU Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow.
The Sooners went 12-2 but were mauled by the Tigers in the College Football Playoff semifinals.
Second-Round Underdog Leading Philly to Success
Going into the 2020 NFL Draft, there was no denying the athletic gifts that Hurts possessed, enabling him to escape the pocket and make throws on the run as a dangerous dual threat.
However, there were concerns about his pocket presence and how his arm strength might translate to the NFL. As a result, the Philadelphia Eagles selected him in the second round of the NDL draft behind Burrow, Tagovailoa, Oregon’s Justin Herbert, and even Utah State Aggies standout Jordan Love.
Despite his second-round status, Hurts stepped in toward the end of his rookie season and saw the start of the last four games of the campaign with the Eagles out of playoff contention. The Philadelphia phenom threw for 1,061 yards and six touchdowns, with four interceptions while running for 354 yards and three scores as an injector of explosiveness into the offense.
Hurts’ opportunity to become an NFL star came with the arrival of Nick Sirianni as the head coach in Philadelphia.
The former Alabama and Oklahoma sensation guided the Eagles to three straight seasons of postseason play, including a Super Bowl run in 2022 that ended in a heartbreaking loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
During his NFL career, Hurts has thrown for 11,764 yards with 67 passing touchdowns to 34 interceptions. Meanwhile, the dual-threat has used his exceptional athletic profile to tally 2,503 rushing yards and 41 scores.
Although the 2023 season has not been as smooth for Hurts, the Eagles are on the path to success in the future thanks to Hurts and his play. When you watch the Philadelphia quarterback dominating on the NFL stage, don’t forget his time at Alabama and Oklahoma shaped him into the elite quarterback he is today.
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