The Alabama Crimson Tide won the national championship last year, riding freshman Tua Tagovailoa’s left arm in the second half.

However, that meant it was a bittersweet moment for Jalen Hurts, who was the starting quarterback before being replaced after halftime.

Hurts got his moment in the sun, though, as he came in for Tagovailoa (who injured his ankle) in Saturday’s SEC title game and led the Tide to a come-from-behind victory over Georgia. On Sunday, he spoke with ESPN and revealed just how tough that moment following last year’s championship game was for him:

“I can tell you it’s been a long time coming,” he said. “It’s been a long year. I can look back after the National Championship Game in the hotel room with my parents, brother and sister, and I’m in my mom and dad’s arms crying. I look up at my dad and said, ‘What are we going to do now?’ and he told me, ‘Look, we’re going to fight.’ I’ve been fighting for a year, not knowing what the result would be, competing, keeping faith. God was with me yesterday.”

Alabama fans are thrilled that Hurts decided to stay, and even if he leaves this offseason, he’s earned a special place in the hearts of Crimson Tide faithful.

His year isn’t done yet, though, so we’ll have to see if he can cap off the 2018 season with another title.