Nick Saban says Jalen Hurts told him he is not transferring
With questions still swirling about whether Hurts will transfer if national championship game hero Tua Tagovailoa beats him out for the starting job, Nick Saban told ESPN’s Sage Steele on Tuesday that Hurts came to him earlier this month and assured him he is not going anywhere.
“Jalen actually came to me and said … ‘I am going to be here. I am going to be here. I came here to get an education. I graduate in December, and I’m going to be here,'” Saban said.
When Saban was asked about his QB situation back in April, he seemed far less certain of what Hurts was planning to do. Hurts’ father actually made some comments that indicated Jalen had every intention of transferring if he was not going to start, but it doesn’t sound like that will be the case.
Saban said Tuesday that the competition remains open, and he would not rule out both players having a role in Alabama’s offense. He also told both Hurts and Tagovailoa that they should make an effort to not have the focus of the offseason be on themselves.
“Both guys have proven that they’re capable of making plays that can help you win games in college, and if that’s the case, maybe there’s some reason to have a role for both players,” Saban said. “And if that’s the case, that’s what we’ll try to do.
“I’ve told both players, ‘You’ve gotta win the team, and everything you do to bring attention to yourself, or anybody even in your family that brings attention to yourself, you’re not doing yourself a service in trying to win the team.'”
If Tagovailoa hadn’t gotten an opportunity to play in the national championship game against Clemson, it sounds like Hurts wouldn’t have had to worry about losing his job heading into 2018. Tagovailoa’s ceiling seems to be a lot higher, but Saban won’t hesitate to award the job to Hurts if he performs better this summer.