Philadelphia Eagles News

Jalen Hurts: 'I'm an Eagle and it's a blessing'

Jalen Hurts realized that the reporters on the video conference call Friday night, shortly after he was picked 53rd overall by the Philadelphia Eagles, were tired of him repeating over and over that he's "ready to go to work."

"I've said that a thousand times," he said.

But the Heisman Trophy runner-up in his one season at Oklahoma simply appreciates the fact that he was chosen in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

"I'm an Eagle and it's a blessing," Hurts said. "I'm just looking forward to being a part of the organization and meeting the guys."

The 6-1, 222-pound Hurts comes to Philadelphia to bolster the depth of the quarterback room. Hurts brings a winning pedigree having played for three seasons at Alabama, winning a National Championship, then transferring to Oklahoma where he guided the Sooners to the College Football Playoffs last season. He went 38-4 as a starter in college and became the first player in College Football Playoff history to play in the tournament for two different schools.

"I went to Alabama as a 17-year-old freshman, enrolled early. Threw right into the fire. As a young kid, (I) was able to have success," Hurts said.

In 2016, Hurts was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year as a true freshman. He led the Crimson Tide to a narrow loss in the National Championship Game to Clemson. He followed that up with a 2017 campaign in which he threw 17 touchdowns against only one interception.

However, Hurts was benched at halftime of the National Championship. Tua Tagovailoa, the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to the Miami Dolphins, came in and rallied Alabama to the win. Hurts took the demotion in stride. He was the backup to Tagovailoa in 2018, but was called upon in the SEC Championship Game when the starter suffered an injury. Alabama won and made the playoffs as a result, reaching the National Championship Game once again with Tagovailoa before losing for the second time in three years to Clemson.

"I continued to take steps and develop and develop regardless of what the circumstances were," Hurts said.

Hurts earned his degree in public relations, so he was eligible to transfer without missing his senior season. He went to play for Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma, the school that produced consecutive No. 1 overall picks in Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. In his one season in Norman, Hurts completed nearly 70 percent of his pass attempts for 3,851 yards with 32 touchdown throws against only eight interceptions. He also gained a career-high 1,298 yards on the ground and accounted for another 20 touchdowns with his legs. The Sooners earned a spot in the four-team College Football Playoffs before losing to the eventual champion LSU Tigers in the semifinals.

He had a good week of practice at the Senior Bowl where he was coached by the Bengals' staff led by Head Coach Zac Taylor, the brother of Press Taylor, the Eagles' passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach. Hurts had an outstanding workout at the NFL Scouting Combine where he met with the Eagles. Hurts spent time with Press Taylor at Oklahoma's Pro Day just before the COVID-19 pandemic restricted travel and canceled the remaining Pro Days.

"It's a lot of knowledge in the quarterback room and a lot of knowledge in the organization, so for me to have the opportunity to learn, take steps as a quarterback, and grow, I'm looking forward to it all," Hurts said.

Hurts was asked about potentially being utilized in a role similar to Taysom Hill of the New Orleans Saints, someone who can throw, run, or catch, but has to be accounted for on every time he's on the field.

Hurts simply reiterated that he's ready to go to work and meet his new teammates. For now, he's celebrating with friends and family that he's a Philadelphia Eagle, fulfilling his dream of reaching the NFL.

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