The NFL confirmed the list of 95 players who will enter the 2017 draft early.
Absent from it is former Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd, who left the Vols mid-year after a loss to South Carolina and said he planned to transfer to another program that would be a better fit for his skill set.
Even though he would’ve been eligible to go pro this year, and some think that’s the direction he should’ve gone, Hurd appears set to follow through on his plan. A Pac 12 school reportedly is getting the first visit from the former five-star recruit who likely would’ve been Tennessee’s all-time leading rusher had he finished out his career in Knoxville.
— Ryan Gorcey (@RGBearTerritory) January 20, 2017
At Cal, Hurd would be reunited with former Tennessee wide receiver Vic Wharton, who was in Hurd’s original signing class in 2014. Wharton transferred to the Golden Bears following the 2014 season, sat out in 2015, and had 28 catches for 293 yards and a touchdown in 2016.
The Bears were ninth in the Pac 12 in rushing last season (154.3 ypg). Leading rusher Khalfani Muhammad was a senior and second-leading rusher Tre Watson was a junior in 2016, meaning there could be opportunities for playing time in the backfield for Hurd by the time he’d be eligible to play in 2018 under new Cal head coach Justin Wilcox, who is a former defensive coordinator at UT, but didn’t overlap with Hurd’s time in Knoxville.
Hurd finished his UT career with 589 carries for 2,638 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns.