Paul Finebaum reflects on Jalen Hurt’s ‘remarkable’ journey from Alabama Football QB to the Super Bowl with the Eagles

Jalen hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles secured their Super Bowl ticket after beating the San Francisco 49ers 31-7 in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game. SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum broke down his journey from his early days in Alabama and Oklahoma to leading the Eagles to the Super Bowl McElroy and Cubelic in the morning.

“Well, I think it’s a remarkable story of someone who was extraordinarily talented but, by the vagaries of fate, happened to end up on the same list with someone who was an equal or, in this case, probably better,” Finebaum said. “I thought the big part of Jalen Hurts’ career in Alabama was saving the day in the 2018 SEC championship game and then moving on and leading the Sooners to the CFP. I don’t know how you do this much better. And I know I may have read an occasional article about it Nick Saban made the wrong decision. Well, let’s get straight to the cut, straight to the chase. He didn’t make a wrong decision in the moment he had to make her, Tua was better. And I think that’s been taken into account, and what difference does it really make now? I think the real debate is who gets to claim Jalen hurts, Alabama or Oklahoma? The simple answer is both”

Hurts completed 15 of 25 passes for 121 yards and rushed for 39 yards and a touchdown to win. The Eagles had 24 unanswered points after the 49ers tied the game in the first half. Philadelphia is aiming for its second Super Bowl in six seasons.

“We put in a lot of work to get this opportunity,” Hurts said after the game. “And being here is a moment that we want to enjoy as a team. Everything we were able to overcome to have this opportunity in front of us, we want to use it. The atmosphere tonight was incredible.”

Hurts joined Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Patrick Mahomes at quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs Joe Burrow, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson as finalists for the NFL MVP award. In 15 games during the regular season, Hurts threw for 3,701 yards and 22 touchdowns while scoring 13 extra points. He only threw six interceptions. Hurts is enjoying the best season of his three-year NFL career, which includes 44 passing touchdowns, 26 rushing touchdowns and 19 interceptions.

Hurts, the top-ranked dual-threat quarterback and #104 overall in the 2016 class from Channelview, Texas, signed with Alabama. And he won the seed in the second game of his true freshman season and was named SEC Offensive Player of the Year. He led the Crimson Tide to a national title save for a last-second Clemson touchdown.

As a sophomore, Hurts led Alabama back to national championship play, though he was replaced by at halftime Tua Tagovailoa, who led the Crimson Tide the rest of the way to win the title. Tagovailoa won the seed in the offseason, though Hurts still played a role in Alabama making the title game again, relieving an injured Tagovailoa in the SEC championship game, and leading the Crimson Tide to a win to make the college football playoffs.

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Hurts moved to Oklahoma and became a Heisman Trophy finalist when he led the Sooners to a playoff berth in the 2019 season, completing 69.7% of his passes for 3,851 yards and 32 touchdowns with eight interceptions. He also rushed for 1,298 yards and 20 points.

Raymond Lucas Jr. contributed to this report.