Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara is returning to Tennessee for his redshirt junior season, he indicated via Twitter on Monday evening, the final day that players have to declare their intentions for the NFL Draft.
— Alvin Kamara (@A_kamara6) January 18, 2016
Kamara, a top-rated junior college player coming into the 2015 season who previously redshirted at Alabama in 2013 and played one year at Hutchinson Community College, was an ideal complimentary back for the Vols in 2015 – rushing for 698 yards and seven touchdowns in addition to his 291 yards receiving and three receiving touchdowns. He also got a few opportunities as a punt returner, averaging over 10 yards per return with one punt return touchdown.
He was a huge part of a UT rushing attack that finished No. 2 in the SEC in 2015 and had its most production since 1951 as a program. Kamara played behind, and beside at times, rising junior running back Jalen Hurd, serving as the quicker threat who caught passes out of the backfield and used his speed to get to the edge. Both Hurd and Kamara are expected to be highly-sought after NFL Draft prospects following the 2016 season.
The Vols went 3/3 on their main players considering early entry into the NFL Draft with linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin, cornerback Cam Sutton and now Kamara all opting to stay for another year. Receiver Marquez North, who had limited production in 2015, has declared early for the draft, ESPN confirmed on Monday evening. Tennessee returns nine starters on offense, eight on defense and the top punt returner (Sutton) and kickoff returner (Evan Berry) in the nation in 2016.