The quarterback for the division-leading Philadelphia Eagles says he wants to be a good example for children who are watching him and to be "remembered as someone who made a difference" in the lives of others off the football field.
The Eagles are off to a 2-0 start, thanks, in part, to the standout playing of quarterback Jalen Hurts, who became the starter at the end of his rookie season in 2020 before becoming the full-time starter in 2021 and leading Philadelphia to the playoffs. This season, the Eagles have the league's top offense through two games and share the lead in the NFC East division with the New York Giants.
Hurts, a dual-threat quarterback who played college football at Alabama and then Oklahoma, says his Christian faith drives everything he does.
"That's something that I've just matured in and realized – that God is everything and He's worthy of praise," Hurts told CBS Sports. "You have to put Him in the center of everything that you do. And that's what I believe. … I've been blessed to grow, learn things, and just mature. And I know God has been there the whole entire way."
Hurts' role as an NFL starting quarterback – and in a sports-crazed city – gives him a platform few others have. Hurts says he wants to use it for good.
This summer, his former high school associate principal, Alan Smith, phoned Hurts and asked if he could help purchase "three or four" uniforms for a local AAU basketball program in Houston that was running short on funds, Smith told CBS Sports. Hurts did that -- and more. Soon, the AAU program had an estimated $15,000 in new equipment, from "jerseys to shoes to jogging shorts to athletic bags," CBS Sports said.
Hurts visited his hometown three times during the offseason.
"I just want to set the right example for the kid that does look up to me, the kid that does want to be something great and do something special with themselves," Hurts told CBS Sports. "It may not even be the kid that looks up to me, they may look up to somebody else. But when they see the name Jalen Hurts, I want them to be able to say that's an example of how I can do it.
"... I keep God at the center of everything," he said. "I give Him all the praise. I lean on Him all the time. And I know that everything unfolds the way it's supposed to. … I just want to set the right example, and I want to be remembered [as] someone who made a difference. You know – that's an everyday thing. It's something that I think about every day."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Mitchell Leff/Stringer
Video courtesy: ©Cody Benjamin YouTube Channel
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.