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Jalen Hurts is set to play in his first NFC Championship. And as the Eagles host the 49ers at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, he will have two college fanbases rooting for him.
Hurts played four years of college football before being drafted in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He spent three years at Alabama and one year at Oklahoma.
But which school gets to claim him? That is a debate began awhile back, and only escalated this season as Hurts led Philadelphia to a league-best, 14-3 record.
Here are just a few examples of the back-and-forth, which don’t even begin to scratch the surface:
“The Philadelphia eagles select Jalen Hurts, University of Oklahoma” pic.twitter.com/GIeGWBu4z2— 🐶 The Hunters 🐶 (@OutOfKenTroll) January 22, 2023
Mr . Jalen Hurts Built By Oklahoma 😎 pic.twitter.com/sfDq5EnIhQ— ROC 🥶 (@rocligon) January 22, 2023
Hurts committed to the Crimson Tide as a four-star recruit in the Class of 2016. He took over the starting job in his second collegiate game, which made him the first true freshman to start for Alabama in 32 years.
While in Tuscaloosa, Hurts won two SEC Championships and two College Football Playoff National Championships. However, the second titles come with something of a caveat.
Hurts started every game as a sophomore, but was benched at halftime of the 2017/18 CFP National Championship for Tua Tagovailoa. They then split time during the 2018 season, but the latter was the starter and the former served as the backup.
Following that year, Hurts transferred to Oklahoma. He had a career year with the Sooners statistically, finished second in Heisman Trophy voting and won a Big 12 Championship, but lost to LSU in the CFP semifinal game.
So which school get to claim Jalen Hurts?
While at Oklahoma, when Alabama beat Tennessee, Hurts celebrated his former team’s win with a cigar.
He only graduated from Alabama. He did not get a degree from Oklahoma.
Hurts, though, is partisan to the topic. He discussed his allegiance on the Dan Patrick Show in 2021, but that was before Lincoln Riley left for USC.
On Sunday Night Football, Hurts did not claim either program. He shouted out his high school!
Meanwhile, amidst all of the debate, only one of his two former schools claimed Hurts. That was Alabama.
Oklahoma continues to sit idly by.