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Baylor’s Matt Rhule on Tennessee transfer Jalen Hurd: ‘He will be an elite wide receiver’

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Baylor’s secret weapon for the upcoming season may very well be somebody who Tennessee fans are intimately familiar with: former Vols tailback Jalen Hurd.

In a lengthy article on Bleacher Report on Hurd’s decision to change positions and enroll in Waco, Bears head coach Matt Rhule did not seem to downplay expectations for one of his likely starters this fall and lobbed some pretty high praise on the former five-star recruit who had a rather controversial exit from Knoxville two years ago.

“He’s going to play a long time in the NFL—as a wide receiver,” said Rhule. “He will be an elite wide receiver.”

Hurd announced he was transferring in the middle of the 2017 season and eventually settled on a rather surprising move to Baylor. He racked up 2,635 yards and 20 touchdowns in three years as a Vol runner but has apparently slimmed down by 20 pounds and shown off surprising agility in the passing game during his time sitting out a season in Waco.

The entire piece is well worth a read on the why Hurd wound up playing where he is and why the big change to catching passes instead of running the ball between the tackles. NFL scouts don’t seem entirely convinced until he’s actually impressed on the field this season but Rhule, while no doubt wanting to talk up his player, does have pro coaching experience to lean on when evaluating players.

Either way, Hurd figures to be one of the more interesting players in the Big 12 given his very unique career path up to this point.

Ex-Tennessee RB Jalen Hurd reportedly set to visit Louisville

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Add an ACC football program as a potential landing spot for a former SEC running back.

Citing three separate sources, Scout.com is reporting that Jalen Hurd will visit the Louisville campus this weekend.  That website added “that Hurd has expressed an interest in playing tight end at the school he picks.”

It’s previously been reported that the 6-4, 240-pound Hurd has already paid a visit to Ohio State.  A pair of Pac-12 schools, Cal and Oregon, are also reportedly interested in the player.

According to the same Scout story, Hurd will not be leaving Tennessee as a graduate transfer, meaning he would have to sit out the 2017 season.  He’d then have one season of eligibility remaining that he could use in 2018.

In late October, Hurd stunned most observers when he decided to transfer from the Volunteers in the midst of the 2016 regular season.  Hurd’s mother indicated in a Facebook post at the time that she didn’t necessarily agree with her son’s decision, while his father fought back against speculation that the running back’s decision was triggered by a benching.

When Hurd left Rocky Top, he was leading the Vols in rushing with 451 yards.  At the time of his departure, Hurd was also 445 yards away from breaking Travis Henry‘s school record for career rushing yards.  Instead, his 2,634 yards leaves him in sixth place all-time.

Hurd was a four-star member of UT’s 2014 recruiting class who held an offer from, among others, OSU before signing with the Vols.  He’s yet to use his redshirt season.

Reports: Ex-Tennessee RB Jalen Hurd to visit Ohio State

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Tennessee’s loss could turn into Ohio State’s ground gain, depending on how things play out in the coming days.

In late October, Jalen Hurd stunned most observers when he decided to transfer from the Volunteers in the midst of the 2016 regular season.  Hurd’s mother indicated in a Facebook post that she didn’t necessarily agree with her son’s decision, while his father fought back against speculation that the running back’s decision was triggered by a benching.

Three months later, ElevenWariors.com is reporting that Hurd will visit the Buckeyes this weekend.  The Cleveland Plain Dealer subsequently confirmed the initial report.

It’s unclear if Hurd will be leaving UT as a graduate transfer.  If that’s the case, he’d be eligible to play for OSU or any other FBS program in 2017 — Cal’s rumored to be a potential landing spot as well.  If not, he’d have to sit out the 2017 season, leaving him with one season of eligibility that he could use in 2018.

When Hurd left Rocky Top, he was leading the Vols in rushing with 451 yards.  At the time of his departure, Hurd was also 445 yards away from breaking Travis Henry‘s school record for career rushing yards.  Instead, his 2,634 yards leaves him in sixth place all-time.

Hurd was a four-star member of UT’s 2014 recruiting class who held an offer from, among others, OSU before signing with the Vols.  He’s yet to use his redshirt season.

Oklahoma DT Charles Walker leaves team to focus on NFL Draft

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The calendar has been in accelerated in college football this year. Fresno State and Florida International have already hired head coaches for the 2017 season. Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd left his team with a month to go. And now Oklahoma defensive tackle Charles Walker will reportedly leave his team to prepare for the NFL Draft.

There’s been an odd push in some circles to see high-value college players (Jadeveon ClowneyLeonard Fournette) to skip their final seasons to complete year-long Draft prep, and that camp apparently has its first convert.

The circumstances here are different than a Clowney or Fournette situation. Walker suffered a concussion against TCU on Oct. 1 and hasn’t played since.

A Garland, Texas, native, Walker was a Second Team All-Big 12 selection a year ago but missed the Sooners’ Orange Bowl loss to Clemson with concussion symptoms as well.

He’ll finish his career with 53 tackles, 13 TFLs, 6.5 sacks and one forced fumble.

Jalen Hurd tweets lengthy explanation for mid-season transfer from Tennessee

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Ex-Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd turned some heads when his decision to leave Knoxville hit a week ago given he was (and still is) the Vols’ leading rusher. It came on the heels of Tennessee’s third consecutive loss, which was by far the worst of the trio, a 24-21 defeat at South Carolina.

On Sunday night, Hurd broke his silence and offered a lengthy and thoughtful explanation for his impending departure from Tennessee:

Tennessee was vague about why Hurd missed that critical clash against Texas A&M, so him revealing that he had a concussion clears that up. It’s interesting that he had hoped Butch Jones & Co. would tailor the Vols’ offense more to his strengths, especially with another talented running back in Alvin Kamara on the roster. Hurd only caught 10 passes for 81 yards in 2016 after 22 receptions for 190 yards in 2015 and 35 receptions for 221 yards in 2014.

Tennessee ended its three-game losing streak on Saturday with a 55-0 demolition of FCS side Tennessee Tech. The 6-3 Vols have Kentucky, Mizzou and Vanderbilt left on their 2016 schedule.