Hyde5: Could Alabama's Jalen Hurts be the University of Miami's starting QB next season?
By Dave Hyde
South Florida Sun Sentinel Columnist|
Jan 08, 2019 | 8:00 AM
Manny Diaz is introduced as head coach of the Miami Hurricanes and outlines his vision for the program moving forward.
Much of the talk about an Alabama quarterback coming to South Florida involves Tua Tagovailoa to the Dolphins (though maybe less after Monday night’s beatdown against Clemson).
A more immediate issue is how the University of Miami’s probable hire of Major Applewhite as offensive coordinator might put them in play for the transfer of Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Hurts will play somewhere next year as a graduate transfer and the first place to look might be his thoughts as a high school recruit. When Hurts was recruited from high school, he grew up just outside Houston. The first offer he received was from the University of Houston, where Applewhite was the offensive coordinator-turned-head coach. He also took an unofficial visit there. Hurts’ father is a high school coach there, too, so knows all of Applewhite.
So there’s a background there. Of course Houston lost Hurts to …
… Alabama and its recruiter, Lane Kiffin, the current Florida Atlantic coach. So who knows what Hurts is thinking?
Miami coach Manny Diaz said in his opening statements that he’ll be looking for a quarterback, and Hurts will be the best free agent out there.
Besides Alabama, Hurts previously has said the finalists in the recruiting process were Texas A&M and Mississippi State. Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher is a top recruiter, but he has a returning starting quarterback in rising junior Kellen Mond.
Mississippi State? Well, the coach who recruited Hurts, Dan Mullen, is now at Florida. He got an uneven season from first-year starter Feleipe Franks.
Of course, the defensive coordinator at Mississippi State in 2015 during Hurts’ senior year of high school was … Manny Diaz.
You can get dizzy running the possibilities. And it comes down to what Hurts decides to do. But past relationships often matter in decisions like this.
2. As far as other graduate transfers of impact, Southern Methodist’s all-time leading passer, Ben Hicks, might be the best. He started 33 games the past three years at SMU and is the career leader there in attempts, completions, touchdowns and passing yards. Hicks lost his starting job for a few games this year under new coach Sonny Dykes. He then regained it, but Dykes said it was an open competition in the spring. Hicks decided to transfer.
3. So what do the Dolphins need in a coach? I went through the mistakes they’ve made in recent hires and went through a couple of basic needs that, well, they’ve overlooked in these hires. Primarily, they need a coach who will set a high-bar of culture and someone who can work with and develop players. It shouldn’t need saying, of course. But, well, Joe Philbin and Adam Gase fell short in those departments.
4. Your daily reminder of why teams won’t turn around in the state until they keep players at home: Clemson’s Trayvon Mullen, who intercepted a pass and returned it 46 yards early in the national championship game, is from Pompano Beach and attended Coconut Creek High School. Mullen also had six tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. He was named the Defensive MVP of the game.We’ll see where Tagovaila’s pro ratings go. The offensive MVP was Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, who would be the No. 1 pick this year if he was allowed to come out for the draft. And it wouldn’t be close.