Alabama coach Nick Saban addressed the possibility that quarterback Jalen Hurts might transfer if he didn't begin the season as the starter, saying that he has a good relationship with Hurts and his family and that no one is ready to judge where the position battle stands.
In a Bleacher Report article published Thursday morning, Hurts' father said his son would become the "biggest free agent in college football history" if he were to decide to leave the program.
Following practice Thursday, Saban said he wasn't "concerned about what somebody else chose to write" and instead relied on conversations he has had with Hurts and his parents, which he said have been positive. Saban said he met with Hurts' father following last weekend's scrimmage and that it was a "very positive meeting."
"I think we all want the same thing for all players that compete on our team, regardless of the position," Saban said. "And even though there's going to be a significant effort on a lot of folks' part -- none in this room, obviously -- who want to make this a very public thing, it's going to be handled in a very private manner."
Saban said Hurts has had a good spring in which he has seen a "significant amount of improvement."
"But I think at the end of the day everybody has career decisions that they'll have to make," Saban said. "Nobody knows what the outcome of the situation will bring for us. We don't want any players not to be able to fulfill their goals and aspirations in our program here. We don't want that for any of our players."
Hurts, who won SEC Offensive Player of the Year as a freshman in 2016, threw for 2,081 yards, 17 touchdowns and one interception as a sophomore last season before he was benched in favor of freshman Tua Tagovailoa during the second half of the national championship game against Georgia.
Before the title game, Tagovailoa hadn't started a game and served primarily in mop-up duty. After coming on for Hurts, he threw three touchdowns in the come-from-behind win, including the game-winner in overtime.
A lefty from Hawaii, Tagovailoa appeared in eight games last season, completing 49 of 77 passes for 11 touchdowns and two interceptions.
He broke a finger in his throwing hand during the first practice of the spring but continued to work with the team in a limited capacity. He reinjured his hand before last Saturday's scrimmage, and his status is uncertain heading into A-Day on Saturday.
Throughout the spring, Saban has reiterated that he has no timetable for when he'll decide on a starting quarterback and has even hinted at the possibility of playing both Hurts and Tagovailoa in games.