Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts has history not just with Texas, but with Texas A&M and Aggie coach Kevin Sumlin. Hurts grew up in Channelview, Texas, about two hours from College Station, and will be playing his first collegiate game in his home state since his debut as a true freshman.
“It’s my first time being back home since high school, so it’ll be fun,” he said. “But at the end of the day, it’s another game, a tough road environment that we have to play in and we have to be ready.”
Hurts was also heavily recruited by Sumlin and Texas A&M. He grew up as more of a fan of Texas and quarterback Vince Young, but said A&M was among his finalists in the recruiting process.
“I’d say they were top 3, with them and Mississippi State,” he said.
The Aggies didn’t have a high school quarterback in the class of 2016 but did add Oklahoma transfer Trevor Knight before that season. He ended up winning the starting job last season as a senior before graduating.
Sumlin knew Hurts and his family even before he was a high school recruit. When Sumlin was head coach at the University of Houston from 2008-11, he often recruited at Channelview High School just outside of Houston. Hurts’ father is the head coach at Channelview, and Sumlin’s relationship with his family started then.
“I wasn’t surprised by Jalen’s success,” Sumlin said. “His demeanor lends itself to him being successful. He’s never too high, never too low. Being a powerlifter, he’s a lot stronger than people knew that didn’t know his background. His leadership qualities and his success come as no surprise to us.”