Alabama: From Jalen to Tua

Alabama: From Jalen to Tua

Lily Hughes and Steven Lockwood

After a sour play at the National Championship game, Coach Nick Saban replaced Jalen Hurts with Tua Tagovailoa, who led the team to a comeback victory. Soon after the fans overwhelmed social media with their new love for Tua. In the off-season, Saban kept his plans for the quarterback position a mystery, and with the season now well underway, Tua kept his starting position, and Jalen accepted his role as back-up quarterback.

After the final decision was made, Tua’s Dad stepped up to share his outlook on the situation with Rick Karle: “I’m really grateful to Jalen. Jalen took Tua in as his brother, and it hurts me to hear and see how people react to Jalen. This kid has been special to this state.” The relationship between Tua and Jalen could have been a large factor in Hurts decision to stick with his team rather than racing off to a more promising spot with another school.

Coach Rose, the head coach of the football team at Bob Jones, shared his views on the choices: “I think the coaches made the right decision to name Tua the starter and his play has been stellar.” He complimented Hurt’s maturity in the matter stating, “I also think Jalen has handled himself with great class and made the right decision to stay at Alabama.”

A survey with the Bob Jones students suggested that the coach’s choice to stick Jalen in the sidelines wasn’t an overall supported one. “I think it’s a nice gesture for his [Tua’s] dad to pray for Jalen, but it won’t really change anything,” Bree Soto explained. “Tua obviously has a lot of potential to be a great quarterback, and so far he’s played very well, but Jalen hasn’t had much of a chance to prove himself since the last championship game.”

Coach Dan Styles reminded us that this was never a lose-lose situation–either way, both players achieve an impressive position and fantastic life opportunities: “I believe that competition is a great revealer of our character and who we really are. Some people try to avoid competition, and that’s ok…not everyone is a competitor and some people are perfectly content with mediocrity. But those who truly strive for excellence and want to reveal the absolute best version of themselves, they thrive on competition and understand that not everyone can be #1.” He preferred to look on the bright side for both Tua and Jalen stating, “I think both Tua and Jalen are great competitors and great quarterbacks. And I believe that NFL scouts will see a better version of both of these guys because of the unique situation they have been part of. And keep in mind, being #2 at the University of Alabama is kind of like being the second richest person in the world…not a bad place to be.”

The future is still an open playing field for the Crimson Tide football team. There is always the potential of Tua getting injured and letting Jalen relive his glory days. Hurts choice to stay at Alabama confirms his loyalty and confidence in his team for a brighter, more victorious season.