When we look back at success stories in sport, there always seems to be one constant: resilience. That ability to bounce back in the face of adversity and never give up seems to be the key to success and it is an ability that Jalen Hurts has elevated to the nth degree. That’s because the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback’s road to the Super Bowl has been anything but easy.
Jalen Hurts’ career so far
Jalen Alexander Hurts was born on August 7, 1998 in Houston, Texas and his career began at Channelview High School in Texas, where he performed very well, scoring 51 total touchdowns in his senior year. Despite these statistics, Hurts received the first disappointment of his career, as the University of Texas turned him down and did not offer him a scholarship.
Jalen made the decision to enrol at the University of Alabama and he earned the starting job, something extremely difficult to achieve at a school of that caliber. His first season was a success, completing 2,780 yards through the air and 954 on the ground. Hurts finished undefeated that regular season and led his team to the national championship game. His opponent was Clemson University, who had a quarterback you’re sure to be familiar with: Deshaun Watson.
Jalen would end up losing that game 35-31, however his performance helped him to position himself as one of the sport’s up-and-coming quarterbacks. Things were going great, but little did he know that the most difficult moment of his career was about to come: being substituted at half time of another national championship game, an almost unparalleled humiliation.
Alabama were trailing 13-0 at half time against Georgia and the offense wasn’t clicking at all, so coach Nick Saban decided to bench Hurts and turn to freshman Tua Tagovailoa. This decision would turn out to be the right one, as Alabama came from behind to be crowned national champions, with Hurts watching from the sidelines.
Even though he knew he wasn’t going to be the starter for the next year, he decided to stay in the team and fight for his spot. Unfortunately, he couldn’t win the job over Tua and remained a backup for the entirety of that season. He managed to rebuild his career and his confidence and was drafted by the Eagles in 2020, a questionable decision at the time when he was the 53rd pick.
There were many doubts about Jalen Hurts’ style of play and whether it would translate to the NFL. For many analysts and fans, this decision was a big mistake by the Eagles. After working harder than anyone to get a starting spot, Hurts has led the Eagles to the best record in the NFC (14-3) and into the Super Bowl, one win away from the Vince Lombardi Trophy.