Nick Saban deals with talk that Jalen Hurts might leave Alabama Crimson Tide

By The Sports Xchange  |  April 20, 2018 at 7:47 PM
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Alabama head coach Nick Saban reacted to a story that junior quarterback Jalen Hurts would transfer if he is not the Crimson Tide's starter by saying his conversations with Hurts and his family have been nothing but positive.

Hurts started all last season, but Saban replaced him at halftime of the National Championship Game with freshman Tua Tagovailoa, who led Alabama to a victory over Georgia.

" ... I think at the end of the day everybody has career decisions that they'll have to make," Saban said. "Nobody knows what the outcome of the situation will bring for us. We don't want any players not to be able to fulfill their goals and aspirations in our program here. We don't want that for any of our players.

"I think we all want the same thing for all players that compete on our team, regardless of the position. And even though there's going to be a significant effort on a lot of folks' part -- none in this room, obviously -- who want to make this a very public thing, it's going to be handled in a very private manner."

Reporters asked Saban about a story in which Hurts' father said his son would become the "biggest free agent in college football history" if he were to decide to leave the program.

Saban said he wasn't "concerned about what somebody else chose to write" and added that he met with Hurts' father following last weekend's scrimmage and that it was a "very positive meeting."

Hurts, who won SEC Offensive Player of the Year as a freshman in 2016, passed for 2,081 yards, 17 touchdowns and one interception as a sophomore last season.

Tagovailoa appeared in eight games last season, completing 49 of 77 passes with 11 touchdowns and two interceptions. He sustained a broken finger on his throwing hand during the first practice of the spring but continued to work out in a limited capacity.

The left-hander re-injured his hand before last Saturday's scrimmage, and his status is uncertain heading into A-Day on Saturday.

Throughout the spring, Saban has said he has no timetable for when he will decide on a starting quarterback and has hinted that he might play both Hurts and Tagovailoa in games.

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