Jalen Hurts put on a record setting performance for Oklahoma football in Week 1. His 508 total yards of offense has set him on a path to cement his legacy.
With all due respect to players such as Russell Wilson and Garrett Gilbert, the results are clear as day: Jalen Hurts is the greatest graduate transfer of all time, and it’s not even close.
Hurts opened his Oklahoma career to the tune of 508 total yards of offense, and six total touchdowns (three passing and three rushing) as the Sooners won 49-31 over Houston. Both of those numbers were new career-highs for the former SEC Offensive Player of the Year.
In fact, he is the second player of all time to throw for over 300 passing yards and 150 rushing yards and three touchdowns each. The first: Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
Hurts was incredible in a week where most players are looking to mesh with their teammates. You would’ve never guessed that he wasn’t in Norman last season, nevermind hardly playing football as he was the backup to Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama.
The best part about Hurts was his interview after the game, where he felt he could’ve executed better and the team had a lot of room to improve. This was after a game only having three incompletions on the evening — I can’t wait to see how he can improve.
With Hurts looking for a fresh start, he now jumps to the front of the Heisman Trophy discussion, as his performance and skill-set looks perfectly suited for Lincoln Riley’s run-and-gun offense. Hurts now has the talent, system and freedom of improvisation to prove that he is one of the best quarterbacks in college football.
The 2019 season can have a lasting impact on a lot of legacies at Oklahoma. For Hurts, he’s looking to become one of the most decorated college football players of all time. He’s currently 26-2 as a starter for his career, and may have one of the best winning percentages in NCAA history when it’s all said and done. He is also looking to become the offensive player of the year in two separate conferences, and prove that he was the player who was once viewed as a top quarterback prospect. Hurts also wants to become the first quarterback to win a national championship on two separate teams.
The other legacy on the line is Riley’s. Already considered one of the best offensive minds in college football, Riley is looking to get over the hump of the national semifinal. He’s come up just short twice, and might have his best opportunity in 2019, with an improved defense behind star linebacker Kenneth Murray.
Riley is also trying to coach his third straight Heisman Trophy winner, something unheard of in college football. If he can carry out that feat, I’m sure a plethora of NFL franchises will be willing to offer to him the blank check, as he’ll be the hottest commodity in coaching circles.
Going forward, the Sooners will be looking for more of the same. This team has all the potential of winning a national championship. They have one of the best offenses in the country (again) to go along with a defense that looks improved. Oklahoma were largely able to keep Houston quarterback D’Eriq King at bay, and need to simply play at a top 50 defensive level to give Hurts the opportunity to win a championship.
My expert analysis leads me to believe that Hurts is awesome. A talented quarterback who has Sooner fans thinking that Riley may finally break through. He, and the rest of the Oklahoma Sooners look primed for a big season.