Jalen Hurts timeline: How Eagles’ star QB went from benched college prospect to NFL’s highest-paid player

Is Jalen Hurts pacing himself? The Eagles need him back scrambling.


Jalen Hurts struck gold on Monday, agreeing to a five-year, $255 million contract extension with the Eagles. But the Pro Bowl quarterback hasn’t taken a predictable path to being the NFL’s highest-paid superstar.


Jalen Hurts Becomes Highest paid NFL Player with Record Setting Contract Extension

In fact, his financial achievement is notable mostly because of the roller-coaster ride that preceded it. Here’s a timeline of Hurts’ journey from confident freshman to benched college QB to emergent face of the NFL: June 5, 2015: A four-star recruit from Channelview High School in Texas, Jalen Hurts commits to playing college football at Alabama.

Aug. 17, 2016: Hurts takes some of his first steps on campus as a member of the Crimson Tide. At age 17, he carries himself like he “owns the building,” seeking to send a message to Alabama’s other QBs: he’s here to win at all costs. Sept. 3, 2016: Halfway through the first quarter of Alabama’s season opener, Hurts takes over for QB Blake Barnett and leads a 52-6 rout of USC — the most lopsided opening-day loss by the Trojans in school history.

Sept. 10, 2016: Hurts becomes the first true freshman to start at QB for Alabama since Vince Sutton in 1984. Dec. 31, 2016: Hurts leads Alabama to the College Football Playoff National Championship after guiding a 14-0 record, including the Iron Bowl and SEC title game, and setting school records for total touchdowns (36) and QB rushing yards (954).


Jalen Hurts Becomes Highest paid NFL Player with Record Setting Contract Extension

Jan. 9, 2017: Hurts and the Crimson Tide fall to Deshaun Watson and the Clemson Tigers in a 35-31 national-title defeat. Jan. 1, 2018: Hurts guides Alabama back to the national championship with a 12-1 finish as a sophomore, including a Sugar Bowl victory in which he won offensive MVP. Jan. 8, 2018: Trailing 13-0 to Georgia at halftime of the national championship, Hurts is benched for freshman backup Tua Tagovailoa, who proceeds to lead Alabama to a 26-23 overtime victory, sealing the comeback with a walk-off TD pass.

Sept. 3, 2018: Tagovailoa is officially named Alabama’s starting QB for the 2018 season, leaving Hurts to play a limited rotational role. Dec. 1, 2018: Hurts replaces an injured Tagovailoa in the fourth quarter of the SEC Championship, scoring two TDs in a 10-minute span to lead a 38-35 comeback victory and seal a fourth straight national title-game appearance for Alabama.

Jan. 7, 2019: Tagovailoa and the Crimson Tide suffer a 44-19 national championship loss to Trevor Lawrence and Clemson, with Hurts on the bench. Jan. 16, 2019: Hurts announces that he will transfer to Oklahoma for a senior season of eligibility as a graduate student. Sept. 1, 2019: In his first game with the Sooners, Hurts sets a school record with 508 total yards in a 49-31 victory over Houston.