Lincoln Riley added to what figures to already be a pretty big chip on Jalen Hurts’ shoulder on Monday saying the quarterback has yet to earn the starting job.
Hurts, who transferred to Oklahoma from Alabama, will almost certainly be the starter for the Sooners this year.
Yet on Monday, Riley said, “He’s gotta win the job first,” when asked what sets Hurts apart (h/t ESPN). “If he wins the job, then we’ll talk about that.”
The two other quarterbacks that Riley could potentially start are redshirt freshman Tanner Mordecai and true freshman Spencer Rattler.
“One of them’s got to go win it,” Riley said. “We’ve got an interesting dynamic in there with Jalen as an older, more experienced guy that’s been through a lot of battles, and we’ve got some very young, talented players in there with a chance to make a name for themselves. It’s really, truly, ‘May the best man win.'”
If we’re being honest, neither of the young quarterbacks has much of a chance to take the job from Hurts. Yet Riley is doing what every good coach does this time of year — stoke the competitive fire of his leaders.
Hurts is already tremendously motivated to have a big season after losing his starting job at Alabama to Tua Tagovailoa. He has a chance to shine in a mobile-quarterback-friendly offense this year, and we fully expect him to do just that.