AUSTIN, Texas — There's no question games like the AT&T Red River Showdown are special. They possess something a little extra on the sentiment scale.
Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts, however, doesn't seem phased by the hype.
Hurts fielded numerous questions in Oklahoma's Monday press conference about the mystique of the AT&T Red River Showdown, his thoughts on Texas as a high school recruit, and even his relationship with Longhorns head coach Tom Herman.
Hurts was very matter-of-fact and gave short, precise answers. To start, he was asked about what makes a great rivalry.
"Everybody is a rival," Hurts said.
That's it. Next question, your honor.
Then, the Texas-related questions started flowing in. He was asked about his recruitment and where the Longhorns laid within that process.
"Charlie Strong liked me a lot. I ended up not going there," Hurts said.
Got it. Moving on? Nope.
A reporter asked a follow-up question about what he thought about UT's program as a Houston native.
"I liked Vince Young – great player. He's a winner. He made plays," Hurts said.
Texas-related recruiting questions kept coming. A reporter followed up again asking about Hurts' recruitment decision based on the fact that he said Strong was interested in him.
"I ended up going to Alabama," Hurts said.
"What was different about Alabama as opposed to Texas," the reporter asked.
"I just ended up going there," Hurts frankly replied.
Hurts has made a knack out of portraying and executing an even-keeled attitude toward preparation towards any game, regardless of which team he plays. It was clear when he spoke about his first Iron Bowl experience as Alabama's quarterback, playing against Auburn – another one of college football's storied rivalries.
"Just taking the right approach to every game," Hurts said. "Treat them all the same and prepare. You have to eliminate all external factors, go out there and execute and do our jobs ... You know, look ... I've experienced some things. I've seen a lot and I appreciate every opportunity I have to play this game. I don't take it for granted. Just got to prepare."
Hurts and the Sooners have not faced a ranked team the entire 2019 season before the matchup with Texas. Facing its first ranked team of the season in the Longhorns, Hurts was asked about potentially being pushed competitively into the fourth quarter for the first time this season.
"Well, I said it earlier. There is a lot of opportunity to learn from the previous game we played in," Hurts said. "There is a ton of value and substance in it. We're going to continue to learn from it and continue to improve."
"(The Longhorns) got really good players," Hurts added. "They've got range. They're active and they play good football."
Hurts time on the press stand concluded with a question about his relationship with Tom Herman, who was the head coach for The University of Houston at the time. Once again, he gave an answer that was short, sweet, and no non-sense.
"Tom's a great coach," Hurts said. "I know him well."
Texas and Oklahoma square off in the Cotton Bowl at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12.
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