Okay, as y’all know, I was born and raised in Georgia and attended the University of Tennessee. Therefore, I am not a big Alabama Crimson Tide fan. However, I will always give proper recognition and honor when due. Saturday, the #1 ranked Crimson Tide came back from behind in the second half, again, to defeat the Georgia Bulldogs. Last year, it was in overtime for the National Championship, and this year, it was in the closing minutes to win the SEC Championship.
However, this missive is not about the Alabama team winning – nope.
I want to focus on the real story of the past two years in Alabama football: Jalen Hurts. I have watched this young man, and I’ve been highly impressed, but never more so than I am right now. See, it was last year in the college football national championship game when Hurts – then a sophomore – was struggling in the first half against Georgia. Coach Nick Saban took Hurts out of the game and put in a freshman, Tua Tagovailoa, who led Alabama’s comeback and threw the game-winning TD in overtime. Jalen Hurts had only lost two games his entire two years at Alabama up to that point. One was as a freshman himself in the previous year national championship game against Clemson, where he had put the Tide ahead with less than two minutes to go on a 50-yard run … and he lost to Auburn last year.
However, Tua Tagovailoa’s greatest cheerleader in last year’s national championship game was Jalen Hurts. But most people believed that he would depart Alabama, realizing that he would not be this year’s starting QB. To the credit of this fine young man, he stayed at Alabama. Jalen Hurts did not allow pride to go before a fall, and he humbled himself. He was playing for the team.
Thus, Saturday, when trailing Georgia in the SEC championship game in the second half, Alabama’s starting QB Tua Tagovailoa went down with an ankle injury. Who came off the bench to throw the tying TD and run the winning TD for Alabama? Yes, Jalen Hurts.
Jalen Hurts could have left Alabama and gone to start as QB on any college football team. He stayed at Alabama. His is a lesson to be learned for all of us in honor, humility, and character. When asked Saturday, his response was that he had placed everything in God’s hands, reminding me of Proverbs 3:5-6 and Jeremiah 29:11.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
Jalen Hurts is the type of young man we should celebrate – not Colin Kaepernick – and I give him a hearty “Steadfast and Loyal” salute. I am an SEC man, so I will be cheering for the Alabama Crimson Tide to win another College Football National Championship. I will do so, not so much for any affinity for Alabama, but rather for two young men, Tua Tagovailoa and, especially, Jalen Hurts, whose picture of the two of them hugging Saturday was unforgettable.
Roll Tide from a Georgia born, Tennessee Volunteer.
This column was originally published at CNSNews.
The views expressed in CCNS member articles are not necessarily the views or positions of the entire CCNS. They are the views of the authors, who are members of the CCNS.