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Skrabinski: Was Nick Saban right to pick Tua over Jalen Hurts?

Skrabinski: Was Nick Saban right to pick Tua over Jalen Hurts?

This is an opinion column.

Let me tell you the story of Jalen Hurts. You never heard it because I never told it. As far as I know, it was not shared by the other two people who were in the room at the time. It’s a story that’s especially relevant at the moment as Hurts prepares to lead the Philadelphia Eagles to the NFC Championship Game and fans debate whether Alabama can “claim them” because they did their college there. Career was not completed.

The story triggers questions with no empirical answers and invites the contemplation of an alternate reality that has never felt necessary to consider. So far.

Did Alabama get the best out of Jalen Hurts? Would he be a finalist for NFL MVP in his third professional season if he didn’t leave Alabama for Oklahoma after his junior year? The conventional wisdom around here has been clear. Nick Saban made the right decision when he chose Tua Tagovailoa instead of Hurts as the Alabama starter for 2018.

Are we sure yet?

Now for the story. It was the summer of 2019. I was out of state meeting a former NFL player from the state of Alabama to discuss a project. His son was a high school quarterback with potential so he hired a private coach to teach him. That coach once played quarterback in the NFL.

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