One important University of Alabama football player took a step toward transferring on Wednesday but a key defensive standout announced via social media he would return for his senior season in 2019.

Jalen Hurts, the 2016 SEC Offensive Player of the Year and a two-year starting quarterback for the Crimson Tide before backing up sophomore Tua Tagovailoa this season, has applied to the NCAA transfer database via the transfer portal, thus taking the first step to a possible change of schools for his senior season.

Meanwhile, junior defensive tackle Raekwon Davis, who had been considered a possible early-exit candidate for the NFL, announced via social media that he would return for his senior season.

Being listed in the NCAA transfer database means coaches from other programs can now contact and recruit Hurts, including having him visit their campuses. As a graduate transfer, Hurts would be immediately eligible at any NCAA program, should he choose to leave UA.

Alabama officials had no comment on Hurts’ name appearing in the database.

Hurts played in 10 games during the 2018 regular season as Tagovailoa’s backup. He came off the bench to lead Alabama to a come-from-behind 35-28 victory over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 1 — after Tagovailoa suffered an ankle injury.

His decision to remain on the team rather than transfer in 2018 contributed to his status as one of the most popular players in Alabama history.

Hurts passed for more than 2,000 yards in each of his two seasons as a starter — including 2,780 yards as freshman in 2016 — and had a combined 40 touchdown passes in those years.

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