Danielson: Jalen Hurts Will Be In Heisman Contention 'The Whole Way'

Sooners' QB Totaled 508 Total Yards In Debut

Reiter Than You
September 03, 2019 - 11:05 am
Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) in action during the game against the Houston Cougars at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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Jalen Hurts' Oklahoma career began with an electrifying, show-stealing start against Houston on Sunday. 

Hurts threw for 332 yards, adding 176 more yards on the ground for a total of six touchdowns in his first showcase for the home crowd. It looked like vintage Jalen Hurts as he shattered Baker Mayfield's Sooners record for total yards in debut by 112 yards. The performance, while impressive, wasn't anything too surprising to CBS Sports' Gary Danielson, who joined Bill Reiter in the aftermath of the Sooners' victory.

"You've just got to give him all the credit in the world," Danielson said. "It's not a big surprise. He was the SEC Offensive Player of the Year. He's a really good football player. I think brings into focus why all of these quarterbacks at these top schools - first of all, why they're all recruited at that top level. And with the success that these transfer quarterbacks have had, they don't make a lot of mistakes. They're recruiting the right guys. Jalen played the way Jalen has always played."

Hurts seemingly rose near the top of everybody's Heisman Watch List. Yes, it's only a week into the college football season but with Oklahoma's recent quarterback success, all eyes will be on Hurts to compete with Texas' Sam Ehlinger to come out on top in the Big 12. After Baker Mayfield in 2017 and Kyler Murray in 2018, could Hurts become the third straight Oklahoma QB to take home the Heisman? 

"I think the voters would really take a step back and be a little hesitant to do three in a row," Danielson said. "But because of Jalen Hurts and what he did last year Alabama. He's going to be the sentimental choice. If it comes down to the end and it's a vote: [Trevor> Lawrence, Tua [Tagovailoa> and Jalen. That could work out well for Jalen because there will be a lot of split votes in the East and Jalen could steal it. With that offense, the way Baker and Kyler Murray played in it, the key is the quarterback. It'll look like he did at Alabama. He's going to gain 100 yards rushing. His passing will always look good ... He's likely to have great stats all the way through the season. He's going to be in the running the whole way. 

Danielson went on to highlight what he believed was the beginning of the end for Hurts' time at the University of Alabama.

"I do feel two years ago at the end of the '17 season, I felt that he was starting to feel pressure from Tua's excellence in practice," Danielson said. "Tua would just put on a show everyday. And towards the end of the season, Jalen really started pressing. He was having trouble.

"Obviously, it manifested itself at the end of the year against Auburn. Then the semifinal game he struggled. Then finally he had to be replaced and Tua saved the day. But I thought the year in between the move he made to stay ... now you see the Jalen Hurts that he played as a freshman. He's a special player. Lincoln [Riley> is doing a really nice job."

Click below to listen to Danielson's interview in its entirety