Stuart McNair

Alabama freshman Jalen Hurts one of 10 in running for top quarterback honor

Manning Award goes to nation’s top QB and takes bowl performance into account

Going into the 2016 season, one question about Alabama was quarterback. For the third consecutive year, the Crimson Tide would have a new quarterback, one who had never started a college game.
That question has been answered, and, as it turned out, answered with a true freshman.
Jalen Hurts has led Alabama to unanimous number one in the nation with an undefeated regular season and will lead the Tide into the Southeastern Conference Championship game against Florida Saturday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Many expect Hurts to be the SEC Player of the Year.
Hurts, a native of Channelview, Texas, has been recognized nationally as one of 10 finalists for the Manning Award, given to the nation’s top quarterback. The Manning Award is presented by the Sugar Bowl and is the only quarterback award that takes into account the candidates’ bowl performances.
The first true freshman ever to start at quarterback for Coach Nick Saban and the first at Alabama since 1984, Hurts has excelled as the Crimson Tide’s starter going 11-0 (he did not start the opening game, but won the job in igniting Bama to a 52-6 win over Southern Cal).
He has thrown for 2,454 yards and 21 touchdowns with only nine interceptions and is completing 65.9 per cent of his passes for a 147.14 quarterback rating that ranks third in the SEC. Hurts also has rushed a team-high 154 times for 840 yards and 12 touchdowns, a total that also leads all Alabama rushers.
Hurts has been impressive in just his first collegiate season as he is first in Alabama annals with an average of 274.5 yards per game, and ranks second in Bama single-season history with 33 touchdowns responsible for (21 passing, 12 rushing).
Hurts has four 100-yard rushing games, the most ever in a season by an Alabama signal caller. He became the first Alabama quarterback to rush for 100 yards and pass for 300 yards in a game — 347 yards passing and 100 yards rushing against Mississippi State.
Joining Hurts as finalists are: J.T. Barrett (Ohio State), Jake Browning (Washington), Sam Darnold (USC), Luke Falk (Washington State), Lamar Jackson (Louisville), Patrick Mahomes II (Texas Tech), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma), Zach Terrell (Western Michigan), and Deshaun Watson (Clemson).
The winner of the 2016 Manning Award will be announced after the bowls in January and will be honored at a ceremony in New Orleans.


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