If Alabama wins the National Championship on Monday, it will likely have contained dynamic Clemson QB Deshaun Watson, a Heisman finalist. And if that happens, one of the unsung heroes will be a player who's never taken a snap in a college game: early enrollee freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts, seen here wearing Watson's No. 4 in Alabama's practice.
He's not a rookie who just hasn't played yet. He's a 2016 recruit who finished his high school courses early and enrolled in time for spring semester, meaning he can practice with his college team.
Hurts is a 6'2 dual-threat QB recruit from Channelview (Texas) who has some serious wheels. Watson, who is a good passer, has been an even better runner, dashing for 145 yards against Oklahoma, 107 against Florida State and 93 against Notre Dame.
It makes sense Alabama would need someone with Hurts' athleticism to rep Watson on the ground in practice. And it's a good thing Hurts enrolled early, because while Alabama has some talented quarterbacks on its roster, none has the running ability of Watson or Hurts.
This is the first I've heard of an early enrollee taking on such an important task, but teams have used players other than backup QBs before to simulate mobile quarterbacks. Florida State used QB/WR John Franklin III in 2013 to simulate Auburn's Nick Marshall, for instance.
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SB Nation presents: This is how Clemson can beat Alabama