Watch: Nick Saban reunites with Jalen Hurts — ‘I’m proud of you’
MOBILE — In what might go down as one of University of Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban’s most raw public moments in recent memory, Saban joyously reunited with his former star quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Hurts, of course, played for the Oklahoma Sooners this past season as a graduate transfer from Alabama. He finished as the runner-up in the 2019 Heisman Trophy voting.
Saban and Hurts have both spoken admiringly about each other since the player transferred, but the public has not gotten the chance to see the legendary coach and beloved quarterback together in person since the 2018 season ended.
At Senior Bowl Week practice on Wednesday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Saban, though, told reporters without prompting that he still considers Hurts as one of his players — indeed, a member of the Crimson Tide family.
Yet, things gotten even more real from there when Saban and Hurts greeted each other on the field at Ladd-Peebles shortly afterwards.
In a Hallmark moment that was captured by members of the media, Saban and Hurts share an embrace, each beaming from ear to ear.
— Alex Byington (@_AlexByington) January 22, 2020
Hurts could be heard at first inquiring how Saban is doing, followed by the coach requesting to take a picture with Hurts.
“I’m proud of you,” Saban then told him.
The quarterback, who was called a “natural leader” this week by Bama’s outgoing defensive back Jared Mayden, subsequently complimented Saban’s fashion ensemble, especially his overcoat.
“Miss Terry get it for you?” Hurts inquired.
“Oh yeah,” Saban responded with a smile, prompting a chuckle from Hurts.
“Tell her to get me one,” Hurts quipped.
Saban then showed Hurts another piece of his wardrobe under the coat, leading Hurts to comment, “Man, she got you styling.”
“She got that, too,” Saban confirmed.
Saban then posed for another picture — this time with all of his players playing at the Senior Bowl, Hurts included.
The photo featured Hurts, Mayden, Terrell Lewis and Afernee Jennings:
It was announced Wednesday that outgoing Bama defensive tackle Raekwon Davis will not play in the Senior Bowl due to an injury.
Hurts on Monday was presented with a two-sided helmet ahead of Saturday’s Senior Bowl game; one side is a replica of his iconic No. 2 Bama helmet, and the other has the Oklahoma Sooners logo on it. That special helmet, however, will be preserved by Hurts rather than worn during the game.
Get tickets to the Senior Bowl game here.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn