Lane Kiffin: Questions about Jalen Hurts are ‘ridiculous’
Lane Kiffin may no longer be coaching Jalen Hurts, but he still has his former quarterback’s back.
Kiffin was quoted in a story published by The Athletic’s Jason Kersey on Monday regarding Oklahoma’s decision to name Hurts their starting quarterback for the season (Kiffin was Hurts’ offensive coordinator at Alabama in 2016).
The last two Heisman Trophy winners have come from the Sooners’ program, which means Hurts is walking into a great situation. However, there is a belief based on what he did at Alabama that Hurts is not as good of a passer as Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray.
“Not to sound disrespectful, but I think those questions are ridiculous,” Kiffin told Kersey regarding questions about Hurts as a passer. “For people to ask if he can throw the ball well enough to be efficient … well, look at his freshman year. Coming out of high school, this was not a kid who they had in quarterback camps ever since he was little. This was an old-school quarterback that hadn’t had a ton of coaching. He wasn’t in all those camps and had quarterback coaches his whole life. As a freshman, he had a lot of explosive pass plays.”
Hurts passed for 2,780 yards, 23 touchdowns and 9 interceptions as a freshman in 2016. He led Alabama to the championship game, where they lost to Clemson. He threw for 17 touchdowns and just one interception the following season but was benched in the national title game for Tua Tagovailoa, who kept the starting job last year, leading to Hurts’ transfer.
Expecting Hurts to match what Murray and Mayfield did is unrealistic, but maybe there’s more to him than what he was able to show at Alabama the past three years. If anyone can bring the most out of him, it’s probably Oklahoma and Lincoln Riley.