Jalen Hurts plans to work out as a quarterback only at combine

Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) scores a touchdown against LSU during the Peach Bowl on Dec. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/John Amis, File)

Combined ShapeCaption
Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) scores a touchdown against LSU during the Peach Bowl on Dec. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/John Amis, File)

Former Oklahoma and Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts, who trained in Norcross for the NFL scouting combine, plans to work out only as a quarterback and not as a running back or wide receiver.

The NFL scouting combine is set to start Sunday and run through March 2 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

“He wants to show people that he’s a quarterback,” said Chip Smith, of Chip Smith Performance Systems, who’s trained more than 2,000 athletes for the combine over the past 32 years. “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 (but) he’s a quarterback.”

Hurts, who’ll leave from Atlanta on Friday for the combine, began his career at Alabama. He started 28 games before he was benched against Georgia in the national title game in favor of Tua Tagovailoa at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in January 2018. He passed for 5,626 yards, 48 touchdowns and rushed for 23 touchdowns over his career at Alabama.

After staying for another season, Hurts moved on to Oklahoma as a graduate transfer and became a Heisman Trophy finalist. He guided the Sooners to the College Football Playoff after passing for 3,851 yards and 32 touchdowns.

“He’s a great athlete, and I think that people are more interested in seeing him throw,” Smith said. “They know he’s a great athlete. He’s probably a 4.5, 4.6 guy in the 40. He runs (fast). He can change directions. He’s strong. He’s not going to lift, but he could.”

But he’s a quarterback.

“He’s been working six hours a day or more,” said Smith, who’s also trained Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick and Tyrod Taylor when they were future NFL quarterbacks. “He spends two and a half hours a day with (his quarterback trainer). He’s with me for speed work and then he spends two hours in the weight room. Then he does treatment.

“He’s ready. He’s ready.”

Smith knows that Hurts will do well during his interviews with teams.

“Here’s what I would tell a (general manager), you have a kid that has played in more big-time games than any kid in America,” Smith said. “They know that he can play. That he’s a great leader. A great athlete.

“He’s going to make your locker room better. He’s a great reflection of your front-office people and your city. All of those intangibles to me, if I’m starting a franchise. ... I know there are other guys in front of him who are great quarterbacks, and I’m not discounting any of them, but I just don’t think any of them have done what he’s done for four years.”

The play of mobile quarterbacks Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen is perhaps a new trend in the NFL. Also, the Saints have used Taysom Hill, a college quarterback, in other roles.

“I think that when he gets an opportunity, he may sit like some guys have done in the past,” Smith said. “But when he gets his opportunity, he’s going to absolutely be ready. He’s a leader.”