KNOXVILLE (WATE) – After a loss to South Carolina, the Vols received a lot of scrutiny from fans.
However, the biggest news was the announcement that Jalen Hurd plans to leave the team at the end of the season. University of Tennessee Coach Butch Jones said Hurd told him the news Monday morning.
“I think its a combination of a long football season,” said Jones when asked why Hurd made the decision to leave. “I don’t want to speak for Jalen. There are a lot of things that, you know, go into that decision and I guess the only thing I’ll say is that I value our relationship, I have a lot of respect for that young man and wish him nothing but the best.”
Hurd was in his third season playing for the Vols and was one of the school’s top recruits. During the recruitment process, he used social media to gain University of Tennessee’s attention by asking fans to tweet at the school.
“I support him on that and I’m very, very thankful for everything that he’s done for this football program, but it’s all about our football program and our football team and moving forward,” said Jones.
During a press conference in August, Hurd stated that many advised him to not become a running back.
“I don’t see my height as a running back as a disadvantage. I can see over everyone,” said Hurd.
The Hendersonville native is on the watch list for the Doak Walker Award. He is 440 yards away from becoming the Vols all-time leading rusher. In September, Hurd said he hoped to help the Vols earn a national championship.
“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.
Jones also announced that the team has lost sophomore defensive lineman Shy Tuttle for the rest of the season. Jones says he feels for Tuttle.
“He worked so hard to get himself back into playing condition and worked so hard and so diligently in the training room and he had a knee injury, so he’ll miss the rest of the season,” said Jones. “He’ll be going through rehab and we’ll see how it goes.”
The University of Tennessee is no longer ranked in the AP Top 25 and Amway Coaches polls for the first time this season. Tennessee is now 5-3.
The team will play Tennessee Tech at home Saturday at 4 p.m. The team’s next conference game is against Kentucky on November 11.