Tennessee has the fourth-best running backs in the nation and the second best in the conference, according to national college football analyst Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports.
The Vols, led by the duo of Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara, have been in the conversation all offseason about being among the best in the nation at that position. And while they didn’t check in quite at the top, Feldman had plenty of good things to say about UT’s ground game.
“Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara almost combined for 2,000 yards last season for UT to go with 19 rushing touchdowns,” he wrote. “The 6-3, 240-pound Hurd is a Freak athlete and a very underrated receiver (57 catches the past two seasons). He averaged five yards a carry in the game at Bama; ran for 102 yards at UF; and ran for 130 yards against Northwestern in the bowl game. Kamara is a nice change-up. He’s shifty and also a terrific receiver (34 catches last year) and was good for 6.5 yards a carry last year. Freshman Carlin Fils-Aime, a speedy Floridian, has impressed folks inside the program since arriving. He and sophomore John Kelly (166 yards last fall) will push for carries.”
UT checks in just above Georgia, which boasts an impressive top duo as well in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, both of whom are battling injuries in fall camp this year.
Tennessee finished second in the SEC last season in rushing yardage with 223.7 yards per game. The Vols trailed only LSU last year in that department, and anchored by the return of Heisman candidate Leonard Fournette, the Tigers top Feldman’s list of best running backs in 2016.