Jalen Hurts was the first true freshman to start at quarterback for Alabama in 32 years. For the entirety of his freshman season, the media marveled at his composure, his toughness and his leadership.
Hurts was the SEC Offensive Player of the Year, briefly a part of the Heisman discussion, and took his team to the National Championship game.
In that game against Clemsom, Hurts led what seemed to be the Championship drive…before the avenge-minded, generational talent, Deshaun Watson threw the winning touchdown with one second left in the game.
Hurts was one second away from leading his team to a National Championship as a freshman. And that failure fueled him and his team for the following season. Unfortunately, in his next Championship appearance, Hurts seemed to run out of gas. Thankfully freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was able to infuse some energy.
In the aftermath of Tua’s electrifying second half performance, the media and even some “fans” have been dismissive of Hurts. It’s as if the now sophomore leader had somehow changed and become less of what was celebrated just the year before.
I would say the opposite is true. His composure, toughness and leadership never wavered during or after the game. In this crucible moment, Hurts has elevated his leadership and demonstrated the kind of team first attitude that experts say is necessary but very seldom seen in a leader.
“…we have two good quarterbacks on our team…both of them made a great contribution to the success of the team this year…two fine young men who really respect each other and have worked hard to help each other all year long.” ~ Coach Nick Saban
Inhale Team First, Exhale Me First…
Inhale Team Commitment, Exhale Selfishness…
Inhale Team Success, Exhale Failure…