The buzz began moments after Tua Tagovailoa hit Devonta Smith with the game winning touchdown pass just over three weeks ago. “What will become of Jalen Hurts?” asked many Alabama football fans, “Tua’s our man for the future!”. Before we come under the preposterous thought that somehow we make the personnel decisions in Tuscaloosa, let’s tap the breaks and allow Jalen Hurts to have something to say about that. Before we turn Jalen into a tight end, before we put him behind center in the Wildcat only, before we have him transferring to Texas A&M to join Jimbo Fisher in his home state, let’s show Jalen some respect and allow him to play into the equation.
It’s true of every fan base in America: The back-up quarterback is the favorite- and when the back-up quarterback is a freshman who came off the bench to throw three TD passes in the national championship game, that back-up quarterback could be voted in as the mayor of Tuscaloosa let alone the governor of Alabama. When Tua Tagovailoa rescued the Crimson Tide from the dead, when he professed his love for the Lord after the improbable win, and when he ran to his family in tears after the game and said to his father, “Hey dad, do you want my hat?” we were smitten. But don’t forget about Tua’s friend and mentor, a young man who has gone 26-2 as the Crimson Tide’s starting quarterback.
When I approached Jalen Hurts in his victorious locker room after Bama’s national championship win, I walked gingerly and approached him cautiously- after all, what would I get from the Bama quarterback after he was pulled from the game only two hours earlier? What I received was a 19-year-old champion who, with a wide smile, said, “I’m so proud of Tua, my little brother. He has been there for me and I have been there for him… all I can say is we’re national champs, and that has a nice ring to it.” Like Tua, Jalen is a class act. But what about their talents?
Like you, I recognize that Jalen Hurts has had his issued in the passing game- but like everything in life, Jalen’s passing ability is not as poor as it appears, and Tua’s passing ability may not be as good as it looks. Jalen can do more harm with his legs, where Tua can wing it on a rope. So what will transpire this fall when big brother and little brother hit the practice fields? Great question.
This much I do know: The Crimson Tide will be a better team if both quarterbacks stay at Bama and both quarterbacks contribute. Can you imagine what opposing defenders might be thinking when the see both Tagovailoa and Hurts in the same backfield on the same play?
As we get hungrier for college football each and every month, let’s do both quarterbacks a big favor and stay out of their hair. The “Tago-Hurts” marriage can and will work. Nick Saban has not had this luxury at the quarterback spot since he arrived in Tuscaloosa. Thanks to two talented guys, you can bet Saban’s going to enjoy every minute of it.
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