Jalen Hurts shares his reaction to being benched, what he said to Tua during breaks in the game
Many Alabama fans finally got what they wanted and saw Jalen Hurts moved to the bench in favor of true freshman Tua Tagovailoa. Nick Saban’s decision to insert the freshman quarterback was gutsy but, of course, was the right one following the events of the second half of the title game.
While it would have been understandable if Hurts was upset over losing his starting role, a spot he’s held for his entire two-year career in Tuscaloosa, the sophomore could not have been more excited for his freshman teammate along with his fellow teammates that just captured a national title.
Immediately after the game ended, Hurts was interviewed by ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi. Here’s the exchange between the two:
What was your reaction when you found out Tua was going to start the second half?
“That he was going to step in and do his thing. We have a lot of guys in the QB room that play really well and he just stepped in and did his thing. He did his thing for the team.”
You were right next to him on the sideline for every huddle, every timeout. What was your message to him during those moments?
“Ball. Play your game. Ball. He’s destined for stuff like this, he’s built for stuff like this. He has the ‘it’ factor and I’m so happy for him and for this team.”
What does it mean to you to be a national champion?
“It’s unbelievable. I dream about this.”