Will UM try to lure Hurts?

Alabama QB may fol­low OC to Mi­ami

South Florida Sun-Sentinel Palm Beach (Sunday) - - Sports - By Christy Cabr­era Chiri­nos South Florida Sun Sen­tinel

CORAL GABLES — New Hur­ri­canes coach Manny Diaz has wasted lit­tle time in pur­su­ing trans­fers he be­lieves can make a dif­fer­ence at Mi­ami.

Over the course of the past four days, both for­mer USC safety Bubba Bolden and for­mer Buf­falo re­ceiver K.J. Os­born have said they in­tend to play for Mi­ami.

Now, UM could be on the verge of land­ing one of the best trans­fers avail­able — Alabama quar­ter­back Jalen Hurts, who re­port­edly en­tered his name in the NCAA trans­fer data­base this past week.

Fri­day night, the quar­ter­back was spot­ted on Mary­land’s cam­pus, where he at­tended the Te r ra p i n s ’ b a s ke t b a l l game against In­di­ana with Mary­land foot­ball coach Mike Lock­sley — who had been, un­til re­cently, Alabama’s of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor.

Lock­sley, though, isn’t the only for­mer Alabama as­sis­tant who’s opted to take a job out­side of Tuscaloosa since the sea­son ended.

On Fri­day, Diaz an­nounced for­mer Crim­son Tide as­so­ci­ate head coach and quar­ter­backs coach Dan Enos — who had been a can­di­date to re­place Lock­sley as OC at Alabama — would be Mi­ami’s new of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor.

That has, of course, spawned plenty of con­ver­sa­tion about the pos­si­bil­ity that Hurts — who was 26-2 as a starter at Alabama — could join Enos in Coral Gables.

Ac­cord­ing to Cane­s­port.com, Hurts is set to visit Coral Gables on Sun­day. If that goes well, few would be sur­prised if Hurts — who has al­ready grad­u­ated and is el­i­gi­ble to play im­me­di­ately — ends up a Hur­ri­cane.

“I think he’s a great coach, a re­ally smart foot­ball mind and I’m blessed to have him,” Hurts said of Enos just be­fore the Col­lege Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship Game, ac­cord­ing to Tuscaloosa News re­porter Ter­rin Waack.

Of how Enos helped him dur­ing the one year they worked to­gether at Alabama, Hurts con­tin­ued, “Re­ally polishing me up, tak­ing me to the next level, get­ting bet­ter.”

Enos’ abil­ity to de­velop quar­ter­backs is one of the ma­jor rea­sons Diaz said he wanted the coach on his staff. And Enos’ work with Hurts and fel­low Alabama quar­ter­back Tua Tago­v­ailoa — a Heis­man Tro­phy fi­nal­ist — helped the Crim­son Tide have one of the top of­fenses in the na­tion in 2018.

Last sea­son, Tago­v­ailoa com­pleted 69 per­cent of his passes, throw­ing for 3,966 yards with 43 touch­downs and just six in­ter­cep­tions. That set an all­time FBS sin­gle-sea­son passer rat­ing mark and made Tago­v­ailoa one of the most dec­o­rated play­ers in col­lege foot­ball. He earned both the Wal­ter Camp and Maxwell Awards.

Hu rts, mean­while, com­pleted 73 per­cent of his passes with eight touch­downs and two in­ter­cep­tions. His per­for­mance, com­bined with Ta g ova i l o a ’s ef­forts, helped Alabama rank first in the na­tion in pass­ing ef­fi­ciency, sixth in to­tal of­fense and third in scor­ing of­fense.

That’s a marked dif­fer­ence from the pro­duc­tiv­ity shown by Mi­ami quar­ter­backs Ma­lik Rosier and N’Kosi Perry, who al­ter­nated starts and were in­con­sis­tent through­out the sea­son with nei­ther com­plet­ing more than 55 per­cent of their passes.

“Me hir­ing Dan is im­prov­ing the quar­ter­back sit­u­a­tion,” Diaz said. “I think our guys that are on cam­pus will ben­e­fit work­ing un­der­neath him.”

Rosier has grad­u­ated and left the Mi­ami pro­gram. And the ad­di­tion of Hurts would give the Hur­ri­canes an ex­pe­ri­enced vet­eran that has been suc­cess­ful at a high level.

That’s some­thing Perry and fel­low quar­ter­backs Jar­ren Williams and Cade Wel­don can’t of­fer im­me­di­ately.

On Fri­day, Diaz was asked about the pos­si­bil­ity of Hurts join­ing Mi­ami and while he couldn’t com­ment specif­i­cally on the quar­ter­back be­cause NCAA rules pro­hibit coaches from dis­cussing play­ers they have not signed, Diaz hinted that grad­u­ate-level trans­fers would give the Hur­ri­canes much-needed boosts at sev­eral po­si­tions.

“I can’t com­ment on any one player specif­i­cally, but we’re go­ing to look from Mi­ami to Maine, from Los An­ge­les to Seat­tle and any­where be­yond for the play­ers that can help us play quar­ter­back — un­der­stand­ing the ones we have on our cam­pus, that we got to get those guys to max­i­mize their po­ten­tial and find out how good they re­ally are,” Diaz said.

“We’ve seen the glimpses of what they re­ally can be. Noth­ing has changed, re­ally. Ev­ery­thing we talked about a week ago is still the same. Ev­ery­body wants to talk about quar­ter­back, we know we have to get that fixed. But that’s true at ev­ery po­si­tion. Where we feel like the team was de­fi­cient in any way, we have to go cre­ate com­pe­ti­tion and get the guys ready to com­pete right away.”

ccabr­[email protected]­sen­tinel.com; On Twit­ter @ChristyChiri­nos.

CORAL GABLES — In his one sea­son as Alabama’s quar­ter­backs coach, Dan Enos helped groom Tua Tago­v­ailoa into a Heis­man Tro­phy fi­nal­ist.

His other high-pro­file pro­tege — Jalen Hurts — im­proved his game dra­mat­i­cally and came off the bench in the SEC Cham­pi­onship Game to lead the Crim­son Tide not only to a come-from-be­hind win over Ge­or­gia and a con­fer­ence ti­tle, but an­other berth in the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off.

When for­mer Alabama of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Mike Lock­sley left Tuscaloosa to take the head coach­ing job at Mary­land, all signs started point­ing to Enos tak­ing over as Alabama’s new of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor.

Then first-year Mi­ami coach Manny Diaz en­tered the fray and of­fered Enos the op­por­tu­nity to be­come the Hur­ri­canes’ of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor.

Mi­ami couldn’t of­fer up the ros­ter of five-star prospects Alabama could. The Hur­ri­canes’ quar­ter­back s i t u a t i o n wa s u n d e r - whelm­ing last sea­son, with nei­ther Ma­lik Rosier or N’Kosi Perry do­ing enough to consistently hang on to the start­ing job. And Mi­ami posted some of the worst of­fen­sive num­bers in the coun­try in 2018, a fact only high­lighted by the Hur­ri­canes’ dis­mal per­for­mance in their em­bar­rass­ing sea­son-end­ing 35-3 loss to Wis­con­sin in the Pin­stripe Bowl less than two weeks ear­lier.

But some­how, with Alabama and even fel­low SEC power Ge­or­gia in­ter­ested, Diaz was able to bring Enos to Coral Gables. The hire, an­nounced Fri­day, cre­ated a buzz not only among Mi­ami fans, but across the south­east, where many col­lege foot­ball fans couldn’t help but won­der why Enos would give up the op­por­tu­nity to coach at a pow­er­house pro­gram with a proven win­ner in Nick Sa­ban to take over the of­fense at Mi­ami.

Enos, him­self, shared his thoughts on the topic Fri­day dur­ing a pod­cast with Sport­sTalk with Bo

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