Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd was named SEC Freshman of the Week after rushing 23 times for 83 yards in Tennessee’s 34-19 win over the Red Wolves of Arkansas State. He scored his first career rushing touchdown in the first quarter on a 4-yard run around the right side of the line. Through two games, Hurd is Tennessee’s leading rusher. Hurd has carried the ball 34 times for 112 yards and is averaging 56.0 yards rushing per game – all team highs. He also has two receptions under his belt, one of which went for a 15-yard touchdown in Tennessee’s win over Utah State in week 1. Hurd leads the Vols in all-purpose yards as well with a 64 ypg average.
A 5-star running back prospect who played in just one game during his senior season due to a shoulder injury, Hurd improved a great deal from week one to week two. Against Utah State he looked indecisive at times and danced too much behind the line. When he faced the Red Wolves Saturday, he did a much better job of running with a lower pad level and fighting for the tough yards. He averaged just 2.6 yards per carry against Utah State but improved that number to 3.6 ypc in week 2. For the Vols to compete with Oklahoma this week, they’ll need Hurd to continue to improve at a fast rate.
The last Vol tailback to win SEC Freshman of the Week was Arian Foster in 2005. Curt Maggitt was the last Vol freshman to win the award (2011).