| FTBL How will you follow Jalen this fall? Friend, or foe? "There’s never been a grad transfer QB like Jalen Hurts" - 247sports article


Jalen Hurts is Oklahoma’s third straight transfer quarterback. In Norman, he’s the continuation of what’s become the, uh, norm: A high-profile QB comes in to play for Lincoln Riley, and he exits as a No. 1 overall draft pick. Will Hurts continue that tradition? It's hard to dismiss the question outright considering what we’ve seen recently at Oklahoma. Given that the former Alabama starter might be the most decorated transfer quarterback ever, Hurts is at least Riley's most experienced transfer pupil.

247Sports has spent the dead period of June on the college football calendar looking at some of the sport’s stars with a historical context. Some players, like Tua Tagovailoa, are historically great. Others, like Trevor Lawrence, are simply incomparable.

Hurts is in the latter category.

Think about it. Hurts has to be the most accomplished transfer in history. He’s a national champion, SEC Offensive Player of the Year and a True Freshman All-American. Throw in his career starting record (26-2), and there’s never been a quarterback transfer with his on-field pedigree.

Others compare, sort of.

Troy Aikman in 1984 became the first freshman quarterback to start at Oklahoma since World War II. He’d start four games the next season before a broken leg ended his campaign. The Sooners would go on to win a national championship that year under Jamelle Holieway’s direction. Aikman transferred that offseason to UCLA, where he’d redshirt and later emerge as a star. But Aikman’s underclassman resume is hardly comparable to what Hurts did at Alabama.

Remove the national championship pedigree, and you could look at a player like Davis Webb (three-year starter who lost his job to Patrick Mahomes). But Webb, who was extremely productive, hardly won or competed at the same level as Hurts.

Russell Wilson might be the best (and only) graduate transfer comparison. A three-year starter at NC State and an all-conference selection, Wilson excelled before transferring to Wisconsin prior to the 2011 season. There, in a quarterback-friendly offense that highlighted his strengths, Wilson put together one of the most efficient seasons (3,175 yards, 33 TDs, 4 INTs 72.8 CMP%) in recent memory.

Hurts’ resume doesn’t truly match any modern quarterback transfer. But he’ll hope Riley’s offense can help elevate him like it did for Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray before him. Hurts enters Oklahoma in a different position than his predecessors. Mayfield and Murray were part-time starters as true freshman before transferring to Oklahoma, and both benefited from at least a year in residence to learn Riley’s system. A senior, Hurts is considerably more established entering Norman than Mayfield (Texas Tech) or Murray (Texas A&M).

Mayfield (8 games): 2,315 yards, 12 TDs, 9 INTs, 64.1 CMP%, 6.8 YPA
Murray (8 games): 686 yards, 5 TDs, 7 INTs, 59.5 CMP%, 5.7 YPA
Hurts (42 games): 5,626 yards, 48 TDs, 12 INTs, 62.9 CMP%, 8 YPA

The three passers are only moderately similar; I went into some of the differences earlier this year. Yet it’s hard to ignore the fact Riley helped elevate what were solid passers early in their careers (at least compared to what they’d become) into Heisman-winning giants. Hurts, given his between-the-lines experience, should quickly absorb Riley’s system. He’s shown a propensity for improvement throughout his career despite playing under four different offensive coordinators. Hurts dropped from nine interceptions to one between his freshman and sophomore years. In part-time work under Dan Enos last season, Hurts elevated his completion percentage from 60.4 to 72.9 percent.

“The guy’s been in some of the biggest and best games of the college football world over the last few years,” Riley said earlier this offseason. There’s not going to be much happening to this kid that he hasn’t been through already.”

Given Hurts’ history, there are few, if any, passers who truly compare to Oklahoma’s new starting QB. But there is an interesting statistical category Hurts fits within. Hurts is one of only 30 FBS passers since 2000 to post a season with 2,000-plus yards, 15-plus touchdowns, a completion percentage of 60 percent and at least 850 yards rushing, according to Sports Reference data. Hurts is actually on that list twice. He’s one of just 18 players from the Power Five among that group. Others include: Braxton Miller, Collin Klein, J.T. Barrett, Cam Newton, Tim Tebow, Vince Young, Deshaun Watsonand Murray.

Statistically, Hurts best compares to an early career Barrett, a player who also led a team to the cusp of national championship only for another quarterback to finish up what he started.

Hurts (2016): 2,780 yards, 23 TDs 9 INTs, 62.8 CMP%, 954 yards rushing, 13 TDs
Barrett (2014): 2,834 yards, 34 TDs, 10 INTs, 64.6 CMP%, 938 yards rushing, 11 TDs

Injuries seemed to strip Barrett of his explosive rushing ability, which saw his production drop significantly as a sophomore and junior. Yet Barrett rebounded as a senior with one of the best passing seasons in Big Ten history. Given a new system and team, Hurts could see a similar late-career resurgence.

Mayfield and Murray can attest to that.

I can't think of another Bama player that has ever been in a situation like this. I seriously doubt there has been one. With that, there isn't a prayer of a chance I hope Jalen wins a game at Oklahoma. I have disliked this group back to Barry Switzer. Not so Big Game Bob sealed the deal for me. And the new kid on the block has all the potential to keep the animosity going. Jalen has already been freely comparing coach Saban's style with the Sooner's style of TD celebration. There will be a lot more where that came from. That too will change the attitude around Tuscaloosa.

There will be Bama fans that talk about everything but the fact he now plays for the Sooners and that's fine with me. As soon as Jalen gets matched up with us in a playoff or bowl, that will change, dramatically. I, on the other hand, plan on booing, early and often. Hook em horns!
I’ll glance at the highlights and his stats but nothing more. My team wears Crimson and White, not Crimson and Cream.
One of the compliments heard about Riley offenses has been how wide open his receivers have been. Having seen both sides of that argument, and knowing what we know of Jalen...
First of all, I wish Jalen only the very best. He did himself and the University proud during his time in Tuscaloosa. Having said that, I don't like Oklahoma and so I will not follow them regardless of who is playing QB. Regarding the question of how will Jalen do at OU... I see all of these prognostications predicting a supreme, lights out performance especially against those Big 12 defenses. I'm not sold on that theory.

Even last year, when he played, while showing some improvement in some areas, he still had the same fundamental problems - slow to react, limited vision, favoring the right side and lack of urgency. Sure, Big 12 defenses are terrible, but that doesn't mean their coaches are stupid. They will defend against him based on those weaknesses until such time as he proves them wrong. I expect Jalen to look like a superstar against teams with middling talent, but we'll see how he does against Texas, TCU, and possibly even Iowa State.
As a person wish him all the best. Will not pull for him or his team in any way unless they end up playing 10rc or awbarn. Sports wise he basically became a non-entity to me when he left. Fully appreciate what he did while here but he is now on another team. If you are not (playing) for us, you are against us.
As a person wish him all the best. Will not pull for him or his team in any way unless they end up playing 10rc or awbarn. Sports wise he basically became a non-entity to me when he left. Fully appreciate what he did while here but he is now on another team. If you are not (playing) for us, you are against us.
Or @12gage @TerryP @XXL TideFan ..... is he really any different than many other players leaving after jr year.... I know mostly leave to play in nfl....
But many others could have stayed another year...but choose to leave.... i dont pull for Jets, Pats, Colts, etc...dont really follow those teams....if they are on...may watch..... thanks for 3 years..good luck....
Personally dont really have the player passion i had as a kid....Namath, stabler, Musso, etc.... Bama 100%....but dont really follow after they leave....
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