Very seldom that an LSU Tiger will give someone with Alabama Crimson Tide representation praise. After all, the animosity and desire for both teams to one up each other is real and easily recognizable on Saturdays during the fall.
But, real recognized real for one Ex-LSU star toward past ‘Bama standout Jalen Hurts on Tuesday, July 11.
In revealing his top five quarterbacks in the NFL right now, former LSU wideout and Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowler Justin Jefferson placed the now Philadelphia Eagles franchise quarterback and NFC champ at No. 4 on his personal list.
“Gotta respect his game in bringing Philly to the championship,” Jefferson said in the viral video.
It wasn’t long ago Jefferson’s LSU teams were battling Hurts’ Alabama teams for both Southeastern Conference and national supremacy.
Hurts & Jefferson During Collegiate Years
Both men went on to have stellar college careers and spent three seasons at their SEC institutions. Hurts, of course, played his final year at Oklahoma as a graduate transfer.
The two men, though, were not only on opposite sidelines during their 2017 and 2018 meetings, but endured limited action.
Jefferson witnessed Hurts and ‘Bama roll to the 24-10 win in November 2017, during a time LSU ranked No. 19 in the nation but Jefferson being a freshman that season with only two games played. The following season, Jefferson went on to grab six catches for 81 yards to lead the Tigers — but the Tide steamrolled to the 29-0 shutout win with Tua Tagovailoa, not Hurts, handling the QB reins that night in the battle of No. 1 (Alabama) versus No. 3 (LSU).
The 2018 season was also Hurts’ final campaign in Tuscaloosa as he went on to throw for eight touchdowns with two interceptions to close his Tide career.
Jefferson and Hurts, though, really blossomed in 2019. The Tiger went on to snatch 111 receptions for 1,540 yards and scored 18 touchdowns. Hurts, meanwhile, produced 3,851 yards with 32 touchdowns and eight picks with the Sooners.
Both eventually became prized members of the 2020 NFL Draft class with Jefferson landing at No. 22 overall in the draft and Hurts being selected at 53rd overall.
‘Hardest Part’ Facing Hurts Moving Forward
Jefferson lists Hurts in his top five. But what about a national outlet?
Even after delivering his first Pro Bowl season and guiding the Eagles to the NFC title, Pro Football Focus still listed Hurts at No. 7 overall in its 2023 QB rankings before minicamps.
PFF writer Sam Monson pointed out what the hard part moving forward will be for Hurts heading into 2023 and beyond.
“Hurts was phenomenal in 2022, but the hardest part of that kind of play in the NFL is sustaining it,” Monson began. “Lamar Jackson one spot above him is a great example of that. Hurts has taken big steps forward every season of his career, and if he has another one in the tank, then he is ranked too low at No. 7. Hurts averaged 8.0 yards per attempt last season and added almost 800 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground.”
And PFF’s top overall passer? The winning quarterback against Hurts in Super Bowl 57 Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs.