Tennessee's Running Back To Be Hurd In The SEC
By Dan Harralson
Tennessee opened fall camp last Friday to a great deal of anticipation due to the number of talented new players head coach Butch Jones has brought in.
The new players range from the JUCO ranks to true freshman that will instantly be looked upon to make an impact early on. One is Jalen Hurd.
It's not often that a true freshman receives instant praise and gratitude, but Hurd is that good – and the SEC will see this fall how great of a talent the Hendersonville, Tenn. naitive is.
Jones also understands the expectations that have been placed on the freshman running back.
"Jalen Hurd has been used to expectations on him," Jones said. "It's how you manage those expectations and how they drive you."
There's no doubt that the drive is there for Hurd, and the drive is also there for the ultimate goal – getting Tennessee back to winning meaningful games and competiting for championships.
"I want to run for a lot of yards, but my main goal is to help the team win games," Hurd told reporters after practice.
Hurd speaking after practice is a big deal because last year freshman did not speak to the media. Hurd is already a fan favorite and will also be a good compliment to senior running back Marlin Lane to begin his collegiate career, as well as learn to play at this level.
"The mental game is the biggest difference," Hurd said. "The tempo is a big difference from high school. Running is natural for me, I have been running since I was six years old. Pass blocking is what I am picking up the most."
As Hurd continues to adjust to the collegiate game, consistency and a good attitude are what makes the 6-foot 3-inch, 221-pound back to be trusted not only on the field, but off the field as well.
"Jalen is very grounded," Jones said. "He's the same person every day. We talk about consistency, he's incredibly consistent every day."