Leonard Fournette and Nick Chubb have considerably better odds from the SEC, but Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd should be considered one of the league’s Heisman hopefuls this season according to ESPN.
A Power 5 Heisman sleeper, Hurd is one of the nation’s biggest ballcarriers and packs a serious punch at 6-foot-4, 240 pounds. He rushed for 1,285 yards and 12 touchdowns last season for the nine-win Vols, establishing himself as one of college football’s most dynamic playmakers.
“Jalen Hurd is a three-down running back; he can get the tough yards, he can be elusive, he can pass protect, he can catch the football out of the backfield,” Tennessee coach Butch Jones said at a recent caravan stop, according to WBIR. “He’s a weapon. He’s very determined.
Hurd’s one of the primary reasons Tennessee should be ranked inside the Top 10 when the Associated Press preseason poll rolls out in August.
From ESPN’s Alex Scarborough:
“He’s not the most talked-about player in his conference, his position or even on his own team. Some early Heisman odds have him trailing Leonard Fournette, Nick Chubb and Bo Scarbrough among SEC running backs, and Scarbrough has never started a game. Even Hurd’s teammate, quarterback Joshua Dobbs, steals his thunder. Making matters worse, fellow Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara steals his carries. But forget that! Hurd is a beast. Have you seen the video of him running 23.1 miles per hour on a treadmill? Ridiculous.
“The 6-foot-4, 240-pound junior is an athletic marvel with the ability to run with power and speed, as well as catch the football. Think of him as the SEC’s version Christian McCaffrey. With 2,187 rushing yards and 21 career touchdowns, he should be a household name by now. If Tennessee competes for a spot in the playoff, as many expect, he will be before long.”