By JOHN ZENOR
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts has taken an important step toward transferring.
Hurts entered his name into the NCAA transfer database portal on Wednesday, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the NCAA list is not publicly accessible.
Putting his name on the list allows other schools to contact Hurts, who has already graduated and is eligible to play his final season as a graduate transfer. It’s not a binding decision to transfer.
Hurts, a dual threat as a runner and passer, will likely be a hot commodity. He was a two-year starter who led Alabama to a pair of national championship games and was Southeastern Conference offensive player of the year as a freshman.
Alabama lost to Clemson in the national championship game Monday night.
Hurts is likely to join other high-profile quarterbacks in moving to other schools. Georgia freshman Justin Fields , who had been one of the nation’s top recruits, has enrolled at Ohio State and former Clemson starter Kelly Bryant picked Missouri .
Hurts has not publicly discussed his plans beyond this season. Before the Tide’s semifinal game against Oklahoma he would only offer “my story’s still unfolding. Just wait to see what’s next.”
Asked ahead of the title game, Hurts had nothing to say. He turned and walked away.
He became even more popular with Alabama fans for staying put and contributing to the offense throughout the season. If Hurts had played in four games or fewer, he could have preserved a second year of eligibility.
“I think a lot of people recognize the fact that he put the team first,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said before the playoffs.
Hurts played in 13 games, rushing for 167 yards and two touchdowns and passing for 765 yards and eight scores. He even caught two passes as he and Tagovailoa lined up together at times.
Benched at halftime against Georgia in last year’s national title game, Hurts lost the starting competition to Tua Tagovailoa going into this season. Tagovailoa, a sophomore, wound up finishing second in the Heisman Trophy voting.
AP College Football Writer Ralph Russo contributed to this report.