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Former Vol Alvin Kamara Wins Pepsi Rookie of the Year Award

(Photo via Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports)

The official Offensive Rookie of the Year in the NFL will be announced on Saturday night. But if Friday is any indication, a former Vol will come away with that award.

Former Vol running back and current New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara was voted the Pepsi Rookie of the Year in the NFL for the 2017 season. Kamara beat out Kareem Hunt of Kansas City, Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey, Jacksonville running back Leonard Fournette, and his own teammate in Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore.

Kamara turned heads in the NFL this season as he became only the second rookie in NFL history to accumulate five rushing touchdowns, five receiving touchdowns, and a kickoff return touchdown in his first season in the league. Hall of Famer Gale Sayers is the only other NFL player to have reached those marks as a rookie.

In his rookie season, Kamara amassed over 1,500 yards of offense. He totaled 728 rushing yards and eight scores on 120 carries and added 81 catches for 826 yards and five touchdowns. He also averaged 31.6 yards per kickoff return on 11 returns and scored on a 106-yard return. Kamara averaged 7.7 yards per touch on offense for the Saints this season.

Kamara finished third among all rookies in the NFL in rushing yards and had the most receptions among all rookies regardless of position. He also had the third-most receiving yards among rookies in the league. His 14 total touchdowns were the most among all NFL rookies this past season as well.

As a Vol, Kamara totaled 1,294 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on 210 carries in two seasons. He also added 74 catches for 683 yards and seven touchdowns, and he returned a punt for a touchdown in 2015. The Saints drafted Kamara in the third round with the 67th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

The official NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year will be announced on Saturday along with all the other regular season awards. Kamara is viewed as the favorite to win that award as well.

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