Russell: Hurts More Difficult To Play Against Than Tua

Tua Tagovailoa was the starter, but Jalen Hurts presented more problems – at least for one SEC defender

The DA Show
April 11, 2019 - 12:41 pm

Tua Tagovailoa is perhaps the best quarterback in college football. He rescued Alabama in the national championship against Georgia as a freshman, and he finished runner-up in the Heisman voting as a sophomore.

But for at least one SEC defensive player, Jalen Hurts presented more challenges.

“The guy I was always worried playing against was Jalen Hurts because he kind of brought the run and the pass,” former Auburn defensive tackle and current NFL Draft prospect Dontavius Russell said on The DA Show. “I know a lot of people knock him for his throwing, but having two running backs in the backfield and not knowing who’s going to have the ball, I think that presented a whole different challenge. He could keep the ball and run the ball just as good as any running back they have. So that was difficult.”

While Tagovailoa dazzled last season, Hurts saved Alabama in the SEC Championship. He finished 7-of-9 for 82 yards and a touchdown and ran five times for 28 yards and a touchdown against Georgia, rallying the Tide to victory.

“He’s a big guy, too,” Russell said. “He’s not just slippery. If you look at his lower body, he’s a big guy.”

Russell, who weighs 323 pounds, is also a big guy. That size should help him at the next level.

“They say the SEC is as close to the NFL as you can get,” Russell said. “Just knowing that, going into those games and just talking to (scouts) and being able to talk about the guys I faced and how I stacked up against them helped me.”