« Football 2019

Jalen Hurts

School

University of Oklahoma

Position
Quarterback
Major
Human Relations (graduate)

Classroom

Jalen Hurts is currently enrolled as a master’s level student in human relations. A graduate transfer, Hurts received his bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Alabama in December of 2018. He originally enrolled at Alabama in January 2016 and finished his undergraduate degree in three years. Since enrolling at OU in January 2019, Hurts has completed 15 hours of graduate credit with another 9 enrolled in for the fall of 2019. He has a 3.40 cumulative GPA in his graduate degree work.

He was named a Sooner Scholar and was selected for the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll in the spring of 2019. At Alabama, he received the 2018 Commitment to Academic Excellence Award, given to the player who has demonstrated the greatest commitment and achievement in his academic endeavors during the previous year. He showed that as he worked to graduate in three years. He was in a degree that had five phases and each is a prerequisite for the next. He worked hard to complete his degree in three years and, on a campus where football players typically stand out, Hurts found a way to blend in.

Character

Character has been defined as what you do when no one is looking. For Hurts, character was something that came with him in his transfer to OU. After less than a year, his OU teammates voted him in as a captain, This followed two significant awards that he received at Alabama after a season that saw the starting QB of the 2017 national title game moved to second team the next season. He was voted the Most Inspiring Player honoree in 2018. The award, given to the player who affects the whole team by his attitude as well as his performance, is selected by the players.

When he lost his starting job in front of everyone in his second national title game, he handled it with a grace that far outweighed his age. Hurts has a solid understanding of who he is and why he is here. He makes those he is involved with feel like the most important people in the world and it is never about him. The Alabama head coach’s wife praised Hurts: “He always managed to stretch himself and his schedule to help others. I continue to have the highest regard for that young man and know that his character and his talent will take him far.”

Community

At Alabama, Hurts gave of himself completely when there was a chance to interact with children and teenagers. The director of the Tuscaloosa County Juvenile Detention Center remembers that Hurts, even beyond his volunteering requirements, returned to the juvenile detention center as a motivational speaker. “He maintained his dignity. He was just the real deal. He was quiet, straight forward. He wasn’t impressed with himself, never gave that arrogant attitude. He taught the kids the importance of shaking hands and looking someone in the eye.” That involvement with the community started immediately at OU. Hurts has a natural ease when he is interacting with children. He is especially drawn to kids with developmental disabilities; he says it is in his DNA. He understood the positive impact his platform allowed him, and he was committed to using it.

Competition

Hurts transferred to OU after three seasons at Alabama. He helped the Crimson Tide to a 41-3 record (26-2 mark as a starter in 2016 and 2017). A 2016 and 2017 Manning Award finalist, he played in six College Football Playoff games (four starts) and helped UA to the 2017 national title. He owns the Alabama quarterback career record with 23 rushing touchdowns and ranks second in school history among QBs with 1,976 career rushing yards and 71 touchdowns responsible for. He ranks third with 7,602 yards of total offense and 48 touchdown passes.

Following his first game as a Sooner, Hurts was named Big 12 Offensive Player and Newcomer of the Week after compiling 508 yards in total offense and scoring six touchdowns. He also earned National Player of the Week honors from the Maxwell Award and the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award. His total broke Baker Mayfield’s record for yards in a debut by more than 100 yards. Hurts had 332 yards through the air (20-23) and three touchdowns. He ran 16 times for a career-high 176 yards and three more scores. Hurts became the first Sooner to throw for at least 300 yards and rush for at least 150 in a game, and is the only player in Big 12 history to throw for at least 300 and rush for at least 150 while completing at least 80 percent of his passes.