Rumors of Jalen Hurts transferring have been circling around the college football world since January. And seven months later we still don't have a clear answer. But, what we did finally get was Hurt's opinion on how he's been treated since he was benched halfway through the national championship.
"They kinda, I guess, didn't think it was a thing, or tried to let it die down like it wasn't something there," Hurts said. "It's just always been an elephant in the room, and it's like, for me, no one came up to me the whole spring, coaches included. No one asked how I felt."
Just reading these quotes plants the seed in every Bama fan's mind that he's gone. Nick Saban said at SEC media day, that he is not sure if Hurts will be on the team this fall. But Hurts swiftly put those rumors to rest, and even hinted at possible miss communication between him and Saban.
"I told him in June that I'd be here," Hurts said. "It was never a decision that had to be made in regards to me leaving. That was something that the general media placed on me and I kinda never said it."
Both of these statements are very unusual when compared to former UA quarterback competitions. There usually isn't this kind of miscommunication. But this is no usual situation. We're talking about a guy who is 26-2 as a starter, threw for 17 touchdowns last year to only one interception and lead his team to back to back national championships.
With all these accomplishments and statistics it still doesn't trump the fact that Nick Saban has a specific system when it comes to picking a starting quarterback.
Looking back on all of the decisions regarding the quarterback position, no matter how different each ones personal situation was, the timing of the decision has always been consistent. The competition has always been decided after the first game of the regular season. Stuff like that will never change and Hurts knows that.
What's also really interesting about both of Jalen's comments is that they are sort of contradictory. Additionally, Hurts also said that in the interview that he is shocked that Saban hasn't made a decision on the starter yet. But as I just said that kind of thing doesn't get solved until the regular season. Hurts went through it in 2015 when he won the starting job. So if he already knows Saban's process, why is he surprised or may be concerned about the lack of urgency on the decision? Does he actually want to transfer? If so then why did he deny it and say he's staying? See what I mean?
I think Jalen is trying to say is that he doesn't think he's going to start. If he wants to know the decision on the position now and he is 100% going to stay so he can graduate, then he's is going to want a head start into looking at teams to transfer to for the next season. Just name Tua the starter now, so I can get a head start on where I want to spend my last year, is what he's probably thinking. Or probably what he and his dad are thinking. It'd be an extremely important decision that shouldn't be rushed, so it would make sense to want a lot of time to consider his options.
Even though these comments are concerning, there is still a whole lot of time before any decision is made. When asked, Saban has stated that he has no idea who the starter will be at this point. In a month in a half Hurts could be the starter and all of this speculation can be put to rest. But until then that's all we can do.