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Nick Saban: “I’ve probably never been more proud of a player than Jalen (Hurts)”

Thought you might enjoy a few comments from Alabama backup quarterback Jalen Hurts and Alabama coach Nick Saban after Hurts rallied No. 1 Alabama in the fourth quarter to a come from behind win over Georgia in the SEC championship game.

Q. Jalen, tell me, what does it feel like for you to be there and handle the situation that you did all year long and then have this opportunity to come out? What does it feel like to be able to contribute to this victory for you today?
JALEN HURTS: It kind of feels like I’m breaking my silence. I haven’t said anything all year, but this team has worked really hard. In the off-season last spring, we know what adversity looks like. Sometimes we’re going to get hit in the mouth, but we know that we’re going to be fine. We did a great job of getting it done today. I think we did a great job of doing that.

Q. Coach, the young man next to you was just asked about himself, and he said we and the team, sort of indicative of all year. What does it say about him that he stuck to the program and came through for the team?
NICK SABAN: I’ve probably never been more proud of a player than Jalen. It’s unprecedented to have a guy that won as many games as he won, I think 26 or something, over a two-year period, start as a freshman, only lose a couple games this whole time that he was a starter, and then all of a sudden he’s not the quarterback. How do you manage that? How do you handle that? You’ve got to have a tremendous amount of character and class to put team first, knowing your situation is not what it used to be, and for a guy that’s a great competitor, that takes a lot. It’s not easy to do.

And he’s always put the team first. He’s gone in the game whenever we’ve asked him to go in the game. We played him as much as we could so that, if this came up, he was going to be ready. I think it worked out great, and I think this is a great example of why guys don’t need to run off and just transfer every chance they get or every time something doesn’t work out.

Jalen is going to be a more successful person in his life because of what he went through, not winning 26 games, but what he went through this year trying to be the kind of person who had to support other people after he was a star player.

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  1. What an outstanding young man! ! ! I really hope that Hoake and all those here who have advocated transferring instead of staying the course read this post or saw yesterdays game. Championships are a team effort and not an individual thing. I read so much here about this player or that player should leave(for what ever reason) by the great coaches on this site. And yesterday showed what staying can do. If a player chooses to leave so be it. But if UK is ever to achieve the goals many here say UK fans deserve it will take sacrifice by really good players to do so. Just like the guys on our 2012 Championship team did. They all gave something of themselves to accomplish something bigger than them.

    Lesson learned!

    1. There is no comparison between how Alabama used Hurts as a backup and how Gran has used Hoak as a backup. Alabama trusted Hurts enough to give him snaps in every game, a lot of snaps. Hoak has not had over a handful snaps in 2 years, and this was with Gran raving about how good he was and that he could win with Hoak in the SEC. Hoak knows he has no chance to play at UK unless something were to happen to Wilson; I would not hang my hat on that if I were Hoak. Gran showed last year that he would take a qb that was beat to death over Hoak. I don’t know if Hoak is good enough to start somewhere or not, but he won’t find out at UK.

      1. I think he transfers in the spring

  2. #2 on Nick’s list would have to be Mt. Elam…lol

  3. This kid should be the starting quarterback begin with for Bama. JUST saying

  4. Who ever called that fake punt on 4th and 11 near mid field for Georgia lost that game. Kirby Smart I guess. I don’t like either team, or coach, but I wanted Georgia to win. They blew it big time. JH deserves a lot of credit, him and his teammates. Georgia proved to me Alabama can be beaten, but Alabama has Georgia’s number. UK fans know all about that kind of a loss, from living through heartbreak city too many times to count.

  5. Jalen Hurts said after this game that he did not transfer because he concluded that the Alabama coaching staff provided him the best oportunity to develop into the best quarterback he could be. What a remarkable statement from a kid that most people believed would pack up and find a new home after last season’s championship game.

    Not so however, and his star rose again in the sky to new prominence on Saturday.

    How I wish certain UK basketball players who have decided to move on to “greener” pastures after 1 or 2 seasons at UK because they concluded that they needed new surroundings could have seen the world as Jalen Hurts viewed it a year ago.

    Tip of the hat to Jalen Hurts and to the Alabama football coaching staff and program.

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