Jalen Hurts is officially a Sooner! While the announcement of his choosing Oklahoma was made last week, it became official this week when Hurts signed his financial aid agreement and started attending classes at OU.
His presence on campus is a welcome site for Lincoln Riley and company, because he’s exactly what the Sooners needed at exactly the right time.
Oklahoma is loaded at the skill position players. Running backs Trey Sermon and Kennedy Brooks will be two of the best in the country next year, and the Sooner receiving corps will be one of the best around yet again. What Riley was missing was a seasoned quarterback who could help him maximize the value of his experienced skill position players.
In Hurts he suddenly has a senior quarterback who has played in six college football playoff games and won a national championship.
“He’s got to get in here and learn this team, learn this offense,” Lincoln Riley said of his new signal caller. “He’s got to get in here and compete for this quarterback job. There are a lot of steps ahead, but there’s no doubt, this guy’s been in some of the biggest and best games in college football here over the last few years.”
Hurts led led Alabama to a 26-2 record in his 28 starts over the 2016 and 2017 seasons. He also played in 13 games in 2018, including the SEC Championship when he replaced injured starter Tua Tagovailoa and rallied the Tide to a 35-28 win over Georgia.
“As I’ve gotten to know him, I’ve been really impressed by the way he carries himself, the way he works. There’s not going to be much that happens to this kid that he hasn’t been through already, Riley continued”
However, experience without the right attitude is useless, but it seems like Hurts has them both.
“I want to go out with a bang.”Jalen Hurts
What his grad transfer recruitment ultimately came down to was the question of what Hurts wanted? With as much film that he already has out there, the chances of him making it to the NFL were pretty good wherever he landed.
However, if Hurts wanted to find a team that could keep him in the familiar territory of conference championship and playoff hopes then Oklahoma was the only place for him. As it turns out, that’s exactly what he wanted!
“There’s a great foundation here at Oklahoma, and Coach Riley does a great job,” Hurts said Tuesday about choosing to be in Norman. “He’s very efficient in what he does. And for my last ride, my senior year, I want to be a part of it.”
“Last year I was fully invested in the University of Alabama. And at the Orange Bowl I was fully invested in beating OU and getting to the National Championship. But now I’m part of the Sooner family and I’m thankful to be here.”Jalen Hurts
After coaching Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, Riley was looking at a quarterback taking over his offense with very little game experience. Now he’s giving the keys over to a guy already responsible for 7,602 yards of total offense and 71 total touchdowns.
Known for one of the most brilliant offensive minds in the game of football, Riley has attended the Heisman trophy ceremony three years in a row. With the experience of Jalen Hurts, coupled with his desire to, “go out with a bang,” there’s no reason not to expect it to be four consecutive years.
Ultimately that’s not the trophy Riley and Hurts are hunting for in 2019 though. The one they want in taller and a bit skinnier.