We need to talk about Jalen Hurts
If anyone is proof that the line to success isn’t always straight, it’s Jalen.
When he got beat out for the starting job at Alabama in 2016, it was to a redshirt freshman. He could have packed his bags right then and there, but he stayed ready, had the job within a couple of weeks, and took Alabama to a national championship in his first year.
After going 12-1 as a sophomore, he had to watch Alabama win a national championship from the sideline after being replaced by Tua Tagovailoa on the biggest stage. How did he react? Not only did he celebrate his teammate’s success as his own, he returned to Alabama as a junior ready to compete for the job.
When Tua won the job in Jalen’s junior year, did Jalen Hurts sulk or slink away? No. Jalen Hurts played the role of backup, supported his friend and teammate, and when the time came to step into the SEC championship game, he led two touchdown drives that secured a come from behind win over Georgia, and sent Alabama to another College Football Playoff.
After Jalen Hurts earned his degree, he left Alabama with the title of “game manager,” and bet on himself to be able to run Lincoln Riley’s spread offense at Oklahoma. The result? 51 total offensive touchdowns, another trip to the college football playoff, and a second place finish in the Heisman voting.
The previous two Oklahoma quarterbacks went first overall in the NFL Draft. What happened to Jalen Hurts? Some people projected him as a receiver, and he ultimately fell to the 53rd pick in the NFL Draft.
But at least Philadelphia welcomed him with open arms as their QB savior, right? Of course not. He started his career third behind Carson Wentz and Nate Sudfeld. His first start came in week 14 of his rookie year, a game he won, and he threw for over 300 yards in his next two starts. Not bad for a skill position player, right?
Well guess what, in week 17, he got benched, just like he did at Alabama. That led to a new head coach, and a complete restart on having to re-earn everything he’d gained.
He earned the starting job in his second year, took the Eagles to the playoffs, and was named a Pro Bowl alternate, but spent the majority of the time having to ignore “Deshaun Watson to Philadelphia” trade rumors.
He weathered that storm, and in his third year, he’s moving the Eagles down the field at will, and has the whole country talking for the first time about how lucky the Eagles are to have him as a franchise cornerstone.
Success isn’t always a straight line, but take a lesson from Jalen Hurts- if your internal compass is pointed in the right direction, whether there are oceans, mountains or deep valleys in your way, you’ll find your way there.
Let that sink in.