How Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts — who simply signed a $255 million contract — went from infamously benched in school to the highest-paid participant within the NFL

Hurts’ journey from school to the NFL to his big payday has been fairly a experience.

Jalen Hurts runs onto the field ahead of a game against the New York Giants.

Jalen Hurts runs onto the sphere forward of a recreation in opposition to the New York Giants.

AP Photograph/Chris Szagola

Within the 2016 season, Hurts led the Crimson Tide to an ideal 12-0 report within the common season, together with a dominant 30-12 win over arch rival Auburn within the Iron Bowl.

Jalen Hurts runs for a touchdown against Auburn.

Jalen Hurts runs for a landing in opposition to Auburn.

AP Photograph/Butch Dill

Hurts accomplished 62.8% of his passes as a freshman for two,780 passing yards, and threw 23 touchdowns in opposition to 9 interceptions.

He ran for a further 954 yards and 13 touchdowns. On the finish of the season, he was named SEC Offensive Participant of the Yr.

In his sophomore season, Hurts as soon as once more was good via the common season, main Alabama to an 11-1 marketing campaign.

Jalen Hurts runs with the ball against Fresno State.

Jalen Hurts runs with the ball in opposition to Fresno State.

AP Photograph/Brynn Anderson

Hurts threw the ball fairly a bit much less in his sophomore yr, however he nonetheless hit 2,081 yards within the air. He threw for 17 touchdowns in opposition to only one interception, displaying a formidable enchancment in ball safety.

Hurts additionally ran for 855 yards and eight extra touchdowns. Alabama’s solely common season loss got here on the street in opposition to No. 6 Auburn within the Iron Bowl.

Because the No. 4 seed heading into the playoff, Alabama upset Clemson in a rematch of the earlier yr’s closing, with Hurts incomes offensive MVP honors.

Jalen Hurts lifts the Sugar Bowl trophy after a win against Clemson.

Jalen Hurts lifts the Sugar Bowl trophy after a win in opposition to Clemson.

AP Photograph/Butch Dill

Hurts threw for 2 touchdowns within the revenge recreation, whereas the Alabama protection refused to let Clemson into the top zone. The Crimson Tide prevailed 24-6.

However the championship recreation was one other story. After struggling within the first half in opposition to Georgia, Hurts was benched in favor of true freshman Tua Tagovailoa.

Jalen Hurts stands with Tua Tagovailoa on the sidelines during a game against Georgia.

Jalen Hurts stands with Tua Tagovailoa on the sidelines throughout a recreation in opposition to Georgia.

AP Photograph/David J. Phillip

After a missed area objective on the opening drive of the sport, the Alabama offense managed only one first down for the remainder of the primary half. The Crimson Tide trailed 6-0 on the break.

At halftime, Nick Saban made an enormous name, benching Hurts and placing true freshman backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa underneath heart to begin the second half.

Tagovailoa was held to a three-and-out on his first drive however discovered a landing the subsequent time he bought the ball, connecting with Henry Ruggs III ultimately zone.

After the sport, Hurts embraced Tagovailoa as they celebrated as nationwide champions.

Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa celebrate during Alabama's championship parade.

Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa have a good time throughout Alabama’s championship parade.

AP Photograph/Brynn Anderson

Two years later, Hurts would converse of the benching as one of the crucial necessary experiences of his profession.

“When have you ever ever seen a man that solely loses two video games in two years as a starter, goes to 2 Nationwide Championships, wins all these awards as a real freshman, then finally ends up dropping his job? That’ll in all probability by no means occur once more within the historical past of faculty soccer,” Hurts instructed ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi in an interview.

“We gotta win the sport. A method or one other. I am at all times going to be a group man. Coach, he made the choice that he made, and we have been nationwide champions. I will be capable of say that for the remainder of my life … That day made me who I’m. I would not change it for the world.”

After the sport, Hurts and Tagovailoa embraced as soon as once more.

Tua Tagovailoa embraces Jalen Hurts after a touchdown.

Tua Tagovailoa embraces Jalen Hurts after a landing.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Pictures

“I’m actually blissful for Jalen,” Tagovailoa mentioned after the sport. “I am blissful that he had an opportunity right here, and everybody on the group knew he may do what he did.”

Head coach Nick Saban choked up discussing Hurts’ efficiency.

“I am so pleased with this man for what he is carried out this yr, I am unable to even let you know,” he mentioned.

Oklahoma went 11-1 via the common season, with Hurts placing up gorgeous numbers.

Jalen Hurts evades a defender against Kansas.

Jalen Hurts evades a defender in opposition to Kansas.

AP Photograph/Charlie Riedel

Within the pass-happy Oklahoma offense, Hurts threw for 3,851 yards and accomplished 69.7% of his passes. He threw for 32 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

On the bottom, Hurts was simply as dominant, speeding for 1,298 yards and a whopping 20 touchdowns. Simply six gamers in all of faculty soccer rushed for extra touchdowns than Hurts.

In 2022, Hurts made the leap to greatness, main the Eagles to a 14-3 common season.

Jalen Hurts takes the field for a game against the Tennessee Titans.

Jalen Hurts takes the sphere for a recreation in opposition to the Tennessee Titans.

AP Photograph/Chris Szagola

In 2022, Hurts made an enormous soar in his passing, finishing 66.5% of his throws for 3,701 yards within the air, 22 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He rushed for 760 yards and 13 extra touchdowns.

Whereas the Eagles got here up brief, Hurts performed among the finest video games in Tremendous Bowl historical past.

Jalen Hurts evades a defender at the Super Bowl.

Jalen Hurts evades a defender on the Tremendous Bowl.

AP Photograph/Matt Slocum

Within the Tremendous Bowl, Hurts threw for 304 yards and a landing, and rushed for 70 yards and three touchdowns.

Even in a loss, it was a recreation for the historical past books, with Hurts placing up numbers that no participant had ever put up earlier than.