A bittersweet goodbye: Hurts announces transfer to Oklahoma


By Hannah Saad

Cody Estremera, Sports Editor

The moment Alabama fans have been waiting for since he put his name into the transfer portal on Jan. 9 has happened: Jalen Hurts has announced he is transferring.

He made his announcement Wednesday afternoon in an open letter published on The Player’s Tribune’s website. Since he graduated in December, Hurts will be eligible to play immediately.

“But now it’s also time for me to start a new chapter in my story,” Hurts wrote. “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. I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity, and I’m excited for the journey ahead.”

Once he reopened his recruitment, Hurts didn’t waste any time, taking visits to three different schools (Maryland, Oklahoma and Miami) by the end of the week.

The Houston, Texas native made an impact at Alabama immediately, earning the starting job by the second week of his freshman season. In the 28 games he started, the Crimson Tide went 26-2, leading to two national championship appearances.

In his three years at Alabama, Hurts threw for 5,626 yards and 48 touchdowns, while running for 1,976 yards, which is second-most by a quarterback in Alabama history, and 23 touchdowns, which is a school record by a quarterback. The 7,606 total yards of total offense is third all-time in program history.

Hurts came to Alabama as an early enrollee, playing former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson as Alabama prepared for its first of four national championships.

His first game was against USC, and he came in off the bench for the team’s third drive of the game. On his first play, Hurts fumbled. Coach Nick Saban kept him in the game, and he threw for 118 yards and two touchdowns while completing six of his 11 passes.

He led Alabama to a 14-0 record, including a win in the 2016 Peach Bowl before losing to the same man he mimicked a year earlier. At the end of the year, Hurts was selected as the SEC Freshman of the Year and was named a Freshman All-American.

In his sophomore year, Hurts wasn’t as much as a fan favorite, as fans called for then-true-freshman Tua Tagovailoa to start over him. He led Alabama to a 12-1 regular season, with the only loss coming in the final game of the regular season against Auburn.

Despite the loss, Alabama advanced to the 2017 College Football Playoff as the fourth seed and faced Clemson in the Sugar Bowl. He threw for 120 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the game for which he was named the offensive MVP.

A week later Hurts struggled in the national championship against Georgia, and was replaced at halftime by Tagovailoa.

This past season, Hurts showed a big improvement in the passing game, throwing for eight touchdowns and 765 yards on 70 attempts, setting a season-high in completion percentage (73 percent).

“And to my Bama family, once again, THANK YOU — for everything,” Hurts ended his letter. “It’s been a great three years. I’ll love you until the end of time!”