Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban has a little advice for Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa in their quest to win the starting quarterback job: Be a lot more concerned about performance than any self-promotion.
"I've told both players, 'You've gotta win the team, and everything you do to bring attention to yourself, or anybody even in your family that brings attention to yourself, you're not doing yourself a service in trying to win the team,'" Saban told ESPN on Tuesday.
Saban reiterated that it would be an open competition and that he wasn't ruling out playing both players.
"Both guys have proven that they're capable of making plays that can help you win games in college, and if that's the case, maybe there's some reason to have a role for both players," Saban said. "And if that's the case, that's what we'll try to do."
Hurts, who is 26-2 as Alabama's starting quarterback, was replaced by Tagovailoa in the second half of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game after the Crimson Tide struggled in the first half against Georgia.
Tagovailoa rallied Alabama from a 13-0 halftime deficit and threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith in overtime to win it for Alabama on the last play of the game.
Ever since, there has been speculation that the quarterback who doesn't win the job will transfer. Hurts' father, Averion Hurts, told Bleacher Report in the spring that he told his son that he opened the door for Tagovailoa to be the Crimson Tide's starter this season and that it was up to Hurts to "dig yourself out."
Averion Hurts, a successful high school football coach in Texas, also told Bleacher Report that Hurts would be "the biggest free agent in college football history" if he doesn't win the starting job.
Saban, however, told ESPN's Sage Steele on Tuesday that Hurts told him he was staying at Alabama after the coach fielded a question about the quarterback's future during SEC media days.
"Jalen actually came to me and said ... 'I am going to be here. I am going to be here. I came here to get an education. I graduate in December, and I'm going to be here,'" Saban said Hurts told him.
In May, Tagovailoa, while speaking to a classroom of kids at his old middle school in Hawaii, revealed he was going to consider the possibility of transferring had he not played in the national championship game, according to HawaiiNewsNow.com. Tagovailoa later said his comments were taken out of context and that he was simply using his situation as an example for the kids on the importance of staying the course.
Either way, Saban suggested Tuesday that neither he nor anybody else on Alabama's team wants to hear any more talking about what may or may not happen down the road.
"I told them both, 'The more that you can do in your performance, your leadership, how you affect other people, the relationships you have on the team and the confidence that you develop in other players in your ability to distribute the ball, because that's what the quarterback is -- the distribution center of the ball -- then that's the guy who's going to have the best opportunity to win the team,'" Saban said. "That has been my message to the players, and they're both going to get a fair opportunity."