- Jalen Hurts is the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback headed to the Super Bowl
- He grew up in Houston, Texas in a football-focused family
- Jalen Hurts is making history in Super Bowl LVII, as it will be the first championship game with two Black quarterbacks
The Philadelphia Eagles were led by quarterback Jalen Hurts in the 2022-2023 season to clinch the NFC East Championship, and now they’re preparing to play against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII. Jalen has stayed fairly quiet heading into the big game, but told reporters on Feb. 8 that he is simply focused on “coming out here and being consistent, and playing at a high level, and playing together. Seemingly superstitious, he wouldn’t even say the word “Super Bowl champions” as he spoke.
“I feel like there’s a ton of value and repetition in getting experience and learning, and being able to learn from those mistakes so I think we’ve grown in a ton of different areas, and we have an opportunity to be…” he continued, stopping himself before saying “Super Bowl champions”. However, with Jalen’s impressive record, he has seemingly little to be superstitious about. He finished the regular season with a 14-3 record (although he missed two games due to a shoulder injury) and has impressively completed 66.5 percent of his throws and helped score 22 touchdowns, according to his ESPN profile.
So, who is the 24-year-old NFL star hoping to lead the Eagles to victory? Read on to learn more about Jalen Hurts.
1. Jalen Hurts Was Coached By His Dad For Most Of His Life
Jalen Hurts grew up in a football-loving family in Houston, Texas. His family was so involved with football that his father, Averion Hurts Sr., coached both him and his older brother, Averion Jr., beginning in middle school and into their careers at Channelview High School, just outside of Houston. They weren’t just around football when they were playing; The New York Times described their father’s football practices “as day care” for Jalen and Averion when they were young, as they “pent their summers and autumns at the school stadium and field house, first as ball boys then as quarterbacks.”
Jalen blossomed in high school, making the second-team all-district as a sophomore, according to ABC News. During his junior year, he was honored with the title of Overall MVP.
The NFL star thrived when he played football at the University of Alabama, becoming the first freshman quarterback since Vince Sutton in 1984. However, during the 2018 season, he was benched in favor of Tua Tagovailoa, who led the team to a 26-23 victory over Georgia. The game changed Jalen’s entire trajectory, as Tua became the starting quarterback after the game. Although Jalen had a redemptive moment later on in the season, he made the critical decision of transferring to Oklahoma in 2019 for his senior year. He was picked up by the Eagles during the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
2. Jalen Hurts Knew He Had To Prove Skeptics Wrong
Following the Eagles’ 31-7 win over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game in January, Jalen admitted to reporters that although he is a popular guy in Philly now, he knew that was not always the case. “My first year here [people] probably didn’t even want [me drafted] here. It was probably one of those things. But it always handles itself,” he said, per ESPN. He then noted the Bible verse that kept him going. “John 13:7: ‘You may not know now but later you’ll understand.’ Hopefully, people understand,” he said.
Even before the 2022-2023 NFL season, fans and players alike knew Jalen was a force to be reckoned with. In fact, receiver A.J. Brown said he did not study the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster before agreeing to leave the Tennessee Titans for the Eagles and a four-year, $100 million extension. “All I needed to know was who was going to be my quarterback. That told me everything I needed to know,” he noted.
3. Jalen Hurts Can Squat 600 Lbs.
Jalen Hurts is known as a quarterback with quick, strong legs — and there’s a reason for that: He can squat a whopping 600 Lbs. Fans can see him at work in the below Twitter video, which was shared by Oklahoma Football his senior year.
Never forget Jalen Hurts squatting nearly 600 lbs in college 🤯
(via @OU_Football) pic.twitter.com/PNLFwSHV4h
— ESPN (@espn) December 8, 2020
Of course, his not-so-secret weapon is dangerous: No team wants their quarterback hit, but that comes with running the ball. “We got to run him; I don’t ever want him to get hit,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said one day after the team won 38-25 against the Detroit Lions during their season opener, per Fan Nation.
4. Jalen Hurts Is Making Super Bowl History With Patrick Mahomes
Jalen and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes are making history at the 2023 Super Bowl as the first two African American quarterbacks to face off in the hunt for the famed Vince Lombardi trophy. “It is history. It’s come a long way. I think there has only been (eight) African American quarterbacks to play in a Super Bowl,” Jalen told reporters on Feb. 2, 2023, per USA TODAY. “To be the first for something is pretty cool. I know it’ll be a good one. It’s history.”
Patrick, 27, shared a similar message of excitement. “To be on the world stage and have two Black quarterbacks starting in the Super Bowl, I think it’s special,” he said. “I’m glad we can set the stage for kids that are coming up now.”
5. Jalen And A.J. Brown Are Best Buds
Jalen and A.J. Brown have chemistry both on the field and off the field. It turns out that they’ve known each other since they started their collegiate careers and that Jalen even tried convincing his pal to transfer to Alabama to play with him. “I always reflect on how cool it is to play with guys you’ve known for a very long time,” Hurts told the press ahead of Super Bowl LVII, per NBC Sports. “Talking with A.J. specifically, our whole back story and background, with me trying to get him to come to Alabama, it didn’t work out the first time but it worked out this time and we’ve been enjoying it. We’ve hit the ground running and it was something we wanted to do for a long time.”
Reflecting on their dynamic further, Jalen said he and A.J. were “always having these conversations [about football] and building our football IQ, I think it’s always been something that’s been building,” per A to Z Sports.
“When the rubber hit the road, it went smooth,” he continued. “[A.J.] coming to Philly, us having the opportunity to play together, I think it all happened naturally, it was all organic. We hit the ground rolling and hopefully we can do that for years to come. He’s a big time player and same goes for [DeVonta Smith]. When we had our time at Alabama, we had a little connection there. Getting him to come to Philly, that was icing on the cake.”
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