Houston to Philly and Beyond
Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Jalen Hurts has maneuvered to the top of the NFL in performance, athleticism. and leadership. Steering his team to Super Bowl LVII, facing off against another incredibly adept QB in Patrick Mahomes. While Hurts was not the one to raise the Lombardi Trophy this time around, he is well acquainted with both success on the gridiron as well as adversity that can surround being the leader of a team.
Don’t get it twisted – we are talking about a two-time SEC Offensive Player of the Year, and two-time National Champion. Throughout the highs and lows, wins and losses, Hurts stands strong and relentless, staring down the criticism and questions. Among the unwavering support that he leaned on were his family, particularly his parents, Pamela and Averion Hurts, that instilled the strength, faith and foundation that stays true today.
Family Over Everything
Hurts came by his love of football honestly, with his father being a star athlete at Howard Payne University. He turned to coaching and quarterback development, being Jalen and his brother’s coach throughout their time at Channelview High School in Texas. The magnitude that is High School Football in Texas is no secret. Growing up as the son of a football coach, gave him tools that he found essential in becoming the leader not just in college, but in the NFL with the Eagles, saying “ I saw my dad handle situations. I saw how my dad led the troops. I saw how he coached, saw how he was able to communicate and build relationships with a ton of different people.”
Brother to Averion Jr. and his sister Kynnedy, both athletes in their own right, Hurts’ family was his biggest support system and sense of strength in the wins, losses, and times of major decisions. Even when his brother was playing at Texas Southern University, Averion and Pamela ensured one of them would be at each of their sons’ games every week. “It’s a blessing to watch a young man that developed a passion for a sport and really, really worked hard at every level and every turn,” his father said during NFL’s Good Morning Football. “It’s humbling as a parent and as a coach.”
After starting for Alabama in their 2018 National Championship victory, he was ultimately benched and pushed to the side for new starter Tua Tagovailoa. He was part of a Championship winning team, his focus kept being pulled from the game. He turned to the strength and love that is always there for him – his parents. He told ESPN. “I’m in my parent’s (my mom’s and dad’s) arms crying. I look up at my dad and said ‘What are we going to do now?’ He told me, he looked me in my eyes and said, ‘We are going to fight.’” And fight he did, joining Oklahoma for his Senior season, then taken by the Eagles in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Like Father Like Son
His father has truly shaped Hurts into the man and captain he has become, saying in a pre-Super Bowl press conference, “He’s the reason I am who I am on the field, off the field. To always compete, to always give my best, to always show respect to the people around me, I think those are some core things that he instilled in me.”
Taking this platform he has been thrust upon, he continues to shine light on his parents, his brother and his sister. He voices the importance of his faith, leadership and keeping his head up even through the greatest tribulations, saying “I have a foundation kind of set for myself, but my parents did that for me. They created habits for me to see things a certain way, have the wisdom that I have, and I give all the credit to them.”
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