Jalen Hurts met with the media on Wednesday and went in depth a lot of different topics including leadership, his relationships with coaches and teammates and how he is approaching what will be his only season in Norman.
Though it will still be weeks before we see him run an actual play as a Sooner (and months before we see him run a meaningful one), there was plenty to learn about Oklahoma football’s newest quarterback. Here are some takeaways from a 35-minute meeting with the press.
Jalen Hurts looks and sounds the part
After years of the almost boyish love of the game of Baker Mayfield and the low-key demeanor of Kyler Murray, Hurts seemed to have a little of both as he met with the media for the first time on Wednesday.
From the way he carried himself, a person who didn’t know any better might think the Sooners were introducing a new assistant coach rather than a 20-year-old ( a full year younger than Kyler Murray) college student to the podium.
Hurts comes off as polished and mature beyond his years, no doubt the product of being a coach’s son and playing for Nick Saban for three years. It doesn’t take long hearing him talk to believe that other guys in the huddle (yes, I know Oklahoma doesn’t huddle, but you know what I mean) will listen to this guy in tough situations.
Leaving a legacy
Jalen Hurts has been a part of three national championship games during his college football career, but he was quick to point out that none of that counts toward his one and only season with the Sooners.
Hurts is also not trying to be Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray or any of the other Heisman-winning quarterbacks that have come through the program.
“I think we’re trying to make a big step, make a massive improvement every day so we can better ourselves,” Hurts told the Daily Oklahoman.
Alabama is a place that has managed to have constant success and fight off the ingrained sense of entitlement that can sometimes come with that level of program. In just two years at Oklahoma, Riley has been able to do the same with the Sooners. He told the Daily Oklahoman:
“You think about coaches, an older coach in coach Saban, a younger coach in coach (Lincoln) Riley. But they’re both great, dang good coaches. They both kind of want nothing but that standard of play. We have an expectation of doing what we’re supposed to do at Oklahoma. The biggest thing is meshing together as a team like I said, holding each other accountable to do those things.”
So what can we take away?
Hurts’ first meeting with the press won’t result in a single victory for Oklahoma football. He won’t get credit for a touchdown, completion or rushing yard, but it does go to show that the Sooners are getting exactly what they bargained for when they agreed to bring him in for his senior year: A confident leader from a program with a legacy of championships who will do everything in his power to bring one to his new school.