Hurd, Kamara Among Best Returning SEC Running Backs

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    Jalen Hurd-1-3

    Pro Football Focus has been high on the Vols as a team and on several individual Vol players this offseason, and that continued with yet another list that has not one, but two Vols high in the rankings.

    Both Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara are in PFF’s top five returning SEC running backs for the upcoming season. Leornard Fournette and Nick Chubb take the top two spots, and then Hurd and Kamara take No. 3 and No. 4 respectively.

    For Hurd, PFF gives a glowing review, saying, “If Fournette and Chubb are out in front, Jalen Hurd isn’t too far away from being able to contend himself, showing big improvement from 2014 to 2015.” The article then goes on to list Hurd’s improvement in terms of their evaluations, and then they provide a ridiculous stat that shows just how hard Hurd was to tackle as a sophomore last year. Hurd broke 65 tackles on 275 carries last season, giving him an elusive rating of 68.1 according to PFF, which ranks him 3rd among returning running backs in all of college football.

    But PFF doesn’t just praise Hurd. In fact, they give plenty of glowing remarks to Tennessee’s other running back, Alvin Kamara.

    PFF says Hurd is the better runner of the two, but that Kamara “is the better all round player, with a skill set that lends him well to being a third down back.” They praise Kamara’s ability on the ground, but PFF says where he really stands out is as a receiver where he forced 13 missed tackles on 35 receptions while totaling nearly 300 receiving yards and scoring three times. Kamara’s pass blocking is also praised, as he only allowed three quarterback hurries on 45 pass blocking attempts.

    Both Hurd and Kamara will have plenty of opportunities to do damage once again in 2016 after both had successful 2015 campaigns. And Pro Football Focus thinks these two are two of the best returning running backs in a conference loaded full of running back talent in 2016.

    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.