ARIZONA - All eyes are on Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts this week as the young MVP candidate aims to pioneer his team to a Super Bowl victory over the Chiefs.
As recently as a couple of years ago, though, before Hurts was a household name, the Eagles franchise quarterback went through some of the most challenging times in his life.
Specifically, during his collegiate career, where he split time between Alabama and Oklahoma, Hurts admitted he went through tribulations that shaped his character.
I feel like I was going through a really tough time in college," Hurts said at Super Bowl Media Day. "I was going through things that nobody else was going through."
I knew I was going through for a reason though," Hurts added. "I believe that faith without works is dead, so I had a lot of faith and put the work in and never stopped believing in myself."
Hurts didn't specify which challenges he overcame but seemed to hint at his time at Alabama.
Hurts led the Roll Tide to the 2018 College Football Championship against Georgia before being unceremoniously benched in favor of future Dolphins starter Tua Tagovailoa after a scoreless first half.
Tagovailoa performed admirably and once Alabama secured the win, they all but gave up on Jalen Hurts, who won SEC Offensive Player of the Year a season prior.
Hungry for a starting role, Hurts left the SEC altogether and transferred to Oklahoma, where he blossomed into a Heisman candidate for the Sooners.
It was during this time, though, that Hurts leaned heavily on the encouragement of his grandmother, whose consistent counsel grounded Hurts during a whirlwind season in his life.
My grandmother sends me a message everyday," Hurts said. "Always some encouragement. Showing a lot of love. She keeps me rooted."
Hurts noted that his grandma has long been in his corner and isn't afraid to let him know when his communication is lacking.
She'll let me know when it's been too long since I've called her," Hurts joked.
Hopefully, Hurts is able to make some time to call her this week between all of his other Super Bowl media responsibilities.
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