Jalen Alexander Hurts (born August 7, 1998) is an American football quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners. He previously played for the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Hurts attended Channelview High School in Channelview, Texas. Hurts's father, Averion, was the football coach at Channelview High School throughout his sons' high school career. As a senior, he passed for 2,384 yards with 26 touchdown passes and rushed for 1,391 yards and 25 touchdowns. Hurts was a second-team all-district selection as a sophomore and was named the District 21-6A Overall MVP as a junior during his high school playing years. He played against the Texas A&M freshman standout running back Trayveon Williams throughout his high school career. Hurts was rated as a four-star recruit and was ranked among the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the Class of 2016. Although Texas A&M made a strong push to recruit Hurts after the departure of their starting quarterback, Kyler Murray, they ultimately failed in their efforts after Hurts proceeded to commit to the University of Alabama on June 5, 2015. He was recruited by Alabama's Defensive Line Coach Bo Davis and Offensive Coordinator Lane Kiffin. Hurts finished high school academically ranking 39th in his class.
In addition to football, Hurts participated in powerlifting. As a sophomore in high school, Hurts was squatting 500 pounds of weight. He would eventually become Regional Finalist in the Powerlifting 198-pound weight class.
As a true freshman at Alabama in 2016, Hurts competed to open the season as the starting quarterback. Blake Barnett started the first game against the USC Trojans, but by the second game, Hurts had taken over the starting role, becoming the first true freshman to start at quarterback for Alabama in 32 years (Vince Sutton in 1984 was the last). Hurts produced a historic freshman season under head coach Nick Saban. He threw for 2,780 yards and 23 touchdowns with nine interceptions. His completion percentage was at 62.8 percent, and he finished the season with a quarterback rating of 139.12. He rushed for a total of 954 yards and 13 touchdowns, breaking the school single season record for rushing yards by a quarterback, surpassing Steadman Shealy's previous record of 791 yards. He finished the 2016 season with 36 overall touchdowns breaking Blake Sims's previous record for touchdowns in a single season for the Crimson Tide with a total of 35 which he set in 2014. Hurts became the first quarterback coached by Nick Saban to rush for more than 11 touchdowns in a single season. He was the first player in Alabama history to pass for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in the same game and the first quarterback to rush for 120 yards or more in multiple games. In the Iron Bowl game against Auburn, Hurts completed 75% of his passes, which set a new Iron Bowl record. Alabama concluded its 2016–2017 regular season with a perfect 12–0 (8–0 SEC) record. On November 30, 2016, Hurts was declared as one out of the ten finalists for the Manning Award which is given to the nation's top college quarterback. On December 3, 2016, he led his team to win the 2016 SEC Championship over the Florida Gators and was subsequently named SEC Offensive Player of the Year, SEC Freshman of the Year, and received Freshman All-American from several publications. Hurts was featured on the cover page of Sports Illustrated College Football Playoff magazine on December 6, 2016. On January 9, 2017, top-seeded Alabama lost the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship against the Clemson Tigers by a score of 35–31. The bowl game was played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
In 2017, Hurts led the Tide to a 13–1 season, giving them a playoff spot as a #4 seed, where they played Clemson in the 2018 Sugar Bowl. Hurts was the offensive MVP in that game, with Daron Payne being the defensive MVP in a 24–6 win over the Tigers. Hurts was benched at halftime of the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship for true freshman Tua Tagovailoa. Hurts won his first National Championship as the Crimson Tide defeated the Georgia Bulldogs by a score of 26–23 in overtime. Overall, he finished the 2017 season with 2,081 passing yards, 17 passing touchdowns, and one interception to go along with 855 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns.
After Tagovailoa helped lead the Crimson Tide to a comeback victory in the National Championship the year before, questions arose if Hurts would remain the starting quarterback for Alabama. In the season opener against Louisville, Tagovailoa was the starter. Hurts came into the game in a rotation. He had 70 passing yards in the 51–14 victory; Tagovailoa had 227 passing yards and two passing touchdowns. Tagovailoa was officially named the starter going into the next game against Arkansas State. In a backup role, Hurts earned significant playing time in the 2018 season.
In the 2018 SEC Championship Game, he relieved an injured Tagovailoa and led the team to a comeback victory against Georgia. Alabama moved to 13-0 and secured a spot in the Playoff.
Hurts completed his B.A. in communication and information sciences in December 2018.
On January 16, 2019, Hurts announced via social media that he would be transferring to the University of Oklahoma for his final year of eligibility. As a graduate transfer, he was eligible to play for the 2019 season.
In his first game as a Sooner on September 1, 2019, Hurts shattered Oklahoma's single game yardage record in a debut (previously held by Baker Mayfield when he put up 396 yards of total offense against Akron in 2015), putting up 508 yards of total offense against Houston. On September 28, in a 55–14 victory over Texas Tech, he had 415 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, and one interception to go along with nine carries for 70 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. Hurts helped lead Oklahoma to a 7–0 start to the season. The team's first setback came against Kansas State on October 26. In the 48–41 loss, Hurts passed for 395 yards and a passing touchdown to go along with 19 carries for 96 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. Hurts helped lead Oklahoma to a Big 12 Championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff. The Sooners' season ended with a 63–28 loss to LSU in the 2019 Peach Bowl. Hurts recorded a successful season with the Sooners, recording 3,851 passing yards, 32 passing touchdowns, and eight interceptions to go along with 1,298 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. He finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting to Joe Burrow.
|Height||Weight||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yard split||20-yard split||20-yard shuttle||Three-cone drill||Vertical jump||Broad jump|
|6 ft 1 in
|31 ⁄4 in
|9 ⁄4 in
|4.59 s||35.0 in
|10 ft 5 in|
|All values from NFL Combine|
Hurts' parents are Pamela and Averion Hurts. Hurts has two siblings: a younger sister, Kynnedy, and an older brother, Averion, named after their father. Jalen's brother, Averion, was the starting quarterback for Texas Southern University and is now a youth football coach. Hurts' parents still attend his football games every week.