When you talk about a college football highlight reel, you can’t take your eyes off Jalen Hurd. Hurd is set to become Tennessee’s career rushing leader in his true junior season. Impressive yeah? Not as much as the fact that he revitalized a dormant SEC powerhouse.
He’s rumbled for 301 rush yards in his final three games of last season and owns six 100-yard performances last year alone. Hurd’s superstar performances on the gridiron helped Tennessee build one of its top recruiting classes.
He was the first top prospect to commit to Vols Head Coach Butch Jones and blazed the trail for in state talent to stay at home. He was an exceptional high school baller. In fact, he was Tennessee’s holy grail.
- Lettered at Beech Senior High School in Hendersonville, Tenn., for coach Anthony Crabtree
- Rated five-star by 247Sports (No. 33 national prospect, No. 4 athlete, No. 1 prospect in Tennessee)
- Rated four-star by ESPN (No. 62 national prospect, No. 7 running back, No. 4 prospect in Tennessee)
- Rated five-star by Rivals (No. 28 national prospect, No. 5 running back, No. 2 prospect in Tennessee)
- Rated four-star by Scout (No. 11 running back)
- Played in 2014 U.S. Army All-American Game
- As a junior in 2012, ran for Tennessee state-record 3,357 yards and 43 touchdowns
- Set Tennessee state record with 294 points scored as a junior
- Averaged 240 yards per game and 10.58 yards per carry in 2012
- Gained more than 200 yards in nine games as a junior, including three games with at least 390 yards on the ground
- Piled up single-game rushing totals of 451, 396 and 394 as a junior
- Ran for Tennessee title-game records of 394 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012 championship, a 56-35 Beech win over Columbia Central
- Led Beech to 2012 state title with a perfect 15-0 record
As a high schooler he not only became the Vols top recruit but the school’s top recruiter, using social media to draw other top in state prospects to Knoxville. His on-field performances are surreal, unprecedented, and maybe even unrealistic? His off-field characteristics were just as strong. The mentality he had while going through the choosing process is not only admirable, but also sensible.
It takes incredibly strong moral fiber to commit to an underachieving team, not only because “you’re from there”. He is attending the University of Tennessee because he wants to bring glory to his home; he wants to build something. Of course he needed help, he had a method to the madness
"I’ll just get a whole bunch of fans to go tweet at them and that just really shows the love that Vol fans give you and that’s very important,” he said.
The year Hurd signed, Tennessee finished with a top 5 recruiting class and the talent has been bursting through the door ever since
“Now that it’s reachable and you can see it, I definitely want to do that and that’s a goal for mine and obviously the biggest goal for me is just to help my team get a national championship,” he said.
Hurd’s intense leadership shines through once again. He is a breath away from a storied college football team’s all-time rushing record and he is still obsessed with winning his team a national championship. With all the hype building up over the last four years, this season is everything to not only Hurd but also that first group of players who took a chance on rebuilding Rocky Top.
Written by Ryan Musleh
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