Why the Jalen Hurts sweepstakes just got a lot more interesting in Florida

The Miami Hurricanes' addition of Alabama assistant Dan Enos could affect the race to land one of college football's hottest transfers.
The Jalen Hurts sweepstakes got a lot more interesting Friday. [ TIMES FILE ]
The Jalen Hurts sweepstakes got a lot more interesting Friday. [ TIMES FILE ]
Published Jan. 11, 2019

The Miami Hurricanes filled a big void Friday by hiring Dan Enos away from Nick Saban's staff at Alabama.

Now we'll see whether Enos' arrival will help the 'Canes patch one of their other glaring weaknesses — quarterback, through the addition of Jalen Hurts.

Hurts entered the NCAA's transfer database earlier this week. Although that doesn't guarantee his exit from Alabama, it means he's exploring the possibility and coaches are free to contact him.

Including the staff in Coral Gables.

Miami's struggles at quarterback have been obvious the past two seasons. The Hurricanes won 10 games in 2017 despite a passing efficiency (129.03) that finished seventh in the ACC. Neither Malik Rosier and N'Kosi Perry had sustained success this season, which is why Miami's passing efficiency (112.18) ranked No. 115 nationally.

Rosier is gone, and Perry didn't prove he was the long-term answer. Miami isn't being coy about its desire to explore transfer options. Two of head coach Manny Diaz's most recent Twitter follows: Hurts and quarterback Tate Martel, a recent transfer database addition from Ohio State.

While Hurts will have many suitors (including, perhaps, Florida State), Miami looks more intriguing now than it did 24 hours ago after making Enos its offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Enos wasn't at 'Bama when Hurts was the SEC's 2016 offensive player of the year, but he was Hurts' position coach this fall. As a backup to star Tua Tagovailoa, Hurts threw eight touchdown passes with two interceptions and completed 73 percent of his passes.

RELATED: Manny Diaz's first game as Miami coach? Against former boss Dan Mullen's Florida Gators

Miami, of course, isn't the only school that employs a former Saban assistant who worked with Hurts. Maryland head coach Mike Locksley was Hurts' offensive coordinator. So was Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin.

But Miami is a marquee program in a major conference. It has plenty to offer Hurts — including, now, his former position coach. We'll see whether it's enough to land one of college football's most desirable free agents.