Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts has been impressive as a freshman, even reminding former Crimson Tide head coach Gene Stallings of Johnny Manziel during the latter’s time at Texas A&M.
Jalen Hurts has stepped into the national spotlight as a true freshman playing quarterback for the top-ranked, defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide. He has passed and run both through and around defenses in a way that few freshmen have ever done, especially in the SEC.
For former Alabama head coach Gene Stallings, Hurts reminds him of a certain Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from Texas A&M.
“Johnny Manziel was an electric-type quarterback, and I think this young man at Alabama is the same type,” Stallings said.
Since taking over the starting job following the season opener against USC, Hurts has thrown for 1,385 yards and nine touchdowns while rushing for 428 yards and eight touchdowns. Defenses have thrown everything at him, but the 6’2 209 lbs. Hurts has been able to shred opponents in a myriad of ways.
“He can run,” Stallings said. “He can get out of trouble. He’s an accurate passer. He doesn’t turn the ball over. I think for a true freshman, he’s doing a fabulous job.”
No. 6 Texas A&M, with defensive star Myles Garrett, comes to Tuscaloosa on Saturday for a showdown that will help decide the SEC West and make the College Football Playoff picture more clear. It is the scene where four years ago, Manziel had his Heisman moment, leading the Aggies to a 29-24 upset of then top-ranked Alabama.
Manziel was a redshirt freshman that year, the first ever to win the Heisman. Could we now be seeing the first true freshman to bring home college football’s most prized individual award? The way Hurts has played, it wouldn’t be smart to doubt him.