NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee redshirt junior running back Alvin Kamara, as many expected, will enter the NFL Draft. He made the announcement following Tennessee’s 38-24 victory over Nebraska on Friday afternoon.
It's been a great 2 years on Rocky Top! I love you all and appreciate the many memories. Go Vols!! 🔶🔶🔶🔶
— Alvin Kamara (@A_kamara6) December 31, 2016
Kamara has signed with New York-based Vayner Sports, a sports talent representation agency.
After originally signing with and playing one season for Alabama, Kamara transferred to Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, where he spent one season. Kamara then came to Tennessee as a five-star junior college recruit, and has been one of the most dynamic and beloved players in recent UT history.
Playing as a complimentary back to Jalen Hurd for much of 2015 and early in 2016, Kamara rushed for 1,294 yards on 210 carries over the past two seasons. He’s also been one of the league’s best receiving backs in that span, recording 74 catches for 683 yards. He was responsible for 24 combined touchdowns on the ground, receiving and in the return game.
Kamara enters an NFL Draft prospect pool that is front-loaded with top-tier running back prospects.
Leonard Fournette (LSU), Dalvin Cook (FSU) and Christian McCaffrey (Stanford) are all projected to be early picks in 2017. But a handful of other running back prospects such as Georgia’s Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, Oregon’s Royce Freeman, North Carolina’s Elijah Hood and others have all recently announced their intention to return to school, perhaps opening up even more opportunity for Kamara in this particular draft class.
WalterFootball.com, a scouting website, ranks Kamara as the fourth-best draft-eligible running back and projects him to go in the top two rounds of the draft.
“Kamara is a lot like Jamaal Charles as a runner in that both are fast slashers who are built well with some power,” the site’s report says.”Additionally, Kamara is a phenomenal receiver with great hands and route-running to also be used as a slot receiver. He also is a dynamic returner on punts and kickoffs.”
The Vols haven’t had a running back selected since the Cleveland Browns took Montario Hardesty in 2010.
Tennessee is also in the midst of a two-year NFL Draft draught, though that is all but guaranteed to end this coming draft with Kamara joining Cam Sutton, Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Joshua Dobbs as potential picks in 2017. Defensive end Derek Barnett – a potential top-10 pick – will also likely declare for the draft, though he hasn’t officially announced his intentions yet. Receiver Josh Malone is the other UT junior who will weigh his options in the coming days.