The moment Tua Tagovailoa walked onto the Mercedes-Benz Stadium field in the second half of the CFP National Championship, the transfer clock began ticking for Jalen Hurts. But how long would it tick? That's the million-dollar question.
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Hurts has been the subject of widespread transfer speculation since poor first-half play vs. Georgia led to his benching. Though Hurts, a two-year starter who led the Tide to back-to-back title games, said he'd return to Tuscaloosa and is on the spring roster, the speculation has not stopped. And his father just fanned the flames.
"Coach Saban's job is to do what's best for his team. I have no problem with that," Averion Hurts told Bleacher Report. "My job is to do what's best for Jalen—and make no mistake, Jalen is a quarterback, and he wants to play quarterback. He loves Alabama, loves Coach Saban and everything about that place. But he wants to play, and he will play…"
You don't need to read between the lines to see that the elder Hurts is implying if his son doesn't play at Alabama, he will play elsewhere. And if he does decide to leave, Hurts will be the biggest free agent ever.
"Well, he'd be the biggest free agent in college football history," he said when asked what happens if Hurts doesn't win the job.
There's a lot to unpack in the 11-word proclamation. First, Nick Saban won't appreciate that comment. We'll see if he addresses it at one of his upcoming press conferences. Second, clearly, Hurts' father thinks there's a chance his son will transfer. And third, is he right? Would Jalen Hurts be the biggest free agent in college football history?
It's subjective, but yes, in my opinion, he's right. Hurts is a former four-star recruit and a two-time title-game quarterback with a 26-2 record as a starting quarterback (not including the 2018 championship). In two seasons, he's thrown for 40 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, run for another 21 scores and has played in more big games than any quarterback in the country.
The Jalen Hurts Transfer Watch is now the Jalen Hurts Transfer Warning.