With the news of Alabama QB Jalen Hurts transferring from Tuscaloosa, questions quickly arose about where he will land. Could it be with the UCLA football team?
Now that the college football season is over, it is time to start “Speculation Season”. What is that, you might ask? It is the part of the year where pundits speculate on a great many things which include “way-too-early rankings”, potential coaching hires and even the landing spots for transfers. One of the biggest speculations that arose today is if Alabama QB Jalen Hurts will transfer to the UCLA football program.
Though it is a long shot for the Bruins to land the former 4-star prospect, it is not out of the question. With head coach Chip Kelly continually looking to shape and strengthen his team, especially the offense, there is a possibility that the Bruin boss could go after the dual-threat quarterback from Channelview, TX whose name hit the transfer portal today.
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If that is the case, it would be the second time Kelly brings in a transfer QB. Before the start of the 2018 season, UCLA brought in grad transfer Wilton Speight from Michigan. Speight did a solid job of helping to develop the offense with freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson in Kelly’s first season.
With Hurts graduating in December, he would also come in as a grad transfer and be able to play immediately.
Hurts was the starting QB at Alabama through the 2017 season before he was replaced in the 2018 National Championship game by freshman QB Tua Tagovailoa who led the Crimson Tide to a comeback victory over the Georgia Bulldogs. That prompted Alabama head coach Nick Saban to stick with Tagovailoa throughout the 2018 season, with Hurts playing backup.
On Monday, the Tagovailoa-led Alabama team got blown out by Clemson in the 2019 National Championship Game. With the Tide down several scores, Hurts was substituted in for Tagovailoa late in the game to try and salvage a victory that would never come. Two days later, Hurts’ name showed up in the transfer portal.
Through three seasons at Alabama, Hurts has thrown for 5,626 passing yards, 48 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and averaged 133.9 yards per game. As a dual-threat QB, he is also known for his feet which has helped him to accumulate 1,976 rushing yards, 23 touchdowns and averaged 47.0 rushing yards per game.
With the talent he possesses, he could definitely fit into Kelly’s system, but there is one caveat, UCLA already has a potential starter for next season: DTR. Could this create a problem or could this be advantageous for the Bruins? This past season, as noted above, both Speight and DTR were responsible for helping the offense progress through the season, albeit, the co-operative QB play was due to injuries to both signal callers.
With his experience and skill, it is expected that Hurts would only come to Westwood on the basis that he starts, which could create a problem. Yet, having two solid dual-threat QBs would be a plus for Kelly. Still, this is only hypothetical as nothing has been offered to Hurts, but if he did join UCLA, it would be a huge catch for the Bruins.