NFL Draft 2020: Jalen Hurts plans to only work out as a quarterback during combine

Jalen Hurts is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick and Tyrod Taylor, quarterbacks who made the successful transition from college to pro football under the guidance of trainer Chip Smith. 

Smith, a longtime trainer who has prepared over 2,000 players for the combine over the past 36 years, recently confirmed that Hurts plans to work out only as a quarterback — and not as a running back and/or a receiver — during next week’s NFL combine from Indianapolis. 

“He wants to show people that he’s a quarterback,” Smith told D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “That’s the big thing. There is talk about other positions and that kind of stuff… . He’s a great athlete. He played in two national championships. He’s got more film than any of the other quarterback out there…he’s a quarterback.”

The 6-foot-2, 218-pound Hurts helped lead Alabama to three consecutive College Football Playoffs that included a victory in the 2017 title game. After starting his first two seasons in Tuscaloosa, Hurts split time in 2018 with Tua Tagovailoa, who emerged as a legitimate Heisman candidate last season before a hip injury prematurely ended his season. Hurts, who spent his final collegiate season at Oklahoma, enjoyed a prolific season with the Sooners, completing 69.7% of his passes with 32 touchdowns and just eight interceptions while helping Oklahoma capture the Big 12 title.

Hurts, who finished second in the Heisman voting to former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, made plenty of plays with his legs during his college career, particularly during his lone season at Oklahoma, where he rushed for 1,298 yards and 20 touchdowns while averaging 5.6 yards per carry. He finished his college career with 3,274 yards and 43 touchdowns while averaging 5.3 yards per carry. 

Hurts is currently seventh on CBS Sports’ ranking of the top quarterback prospects in this year’s draft. Burrow leads the field, followed by Tagovailoa, Oregon’s Justin Herbert, Utah State’s Jordan Love, Washington’s Jacob Eason, and Georgia’s Jake Fromm. Hurts is also tabbed by CBS Sports as the 115th best player in the draft, meaning that, at this point, he has a fourth-round draft projection.

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