Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd is reportedly transferring from the Volunteers program to play tight end or wide receiver at another school yet to be decided.
It has been a weird season full of injuries, intrigue, and a few losses in Knoxville, but it might have just peaked on the “What Is Happening?” scale.
Per reports, running back Jalen Hurd has decided to leave the Volunteers program and transfer to a school where he can play at the receiver or tight end position.
Hurd has battled through injuries this season, seeing his production go down since a 110-yard rushing performance in the opening win against Appalachian State. The junior from Hendersonville, Tennessee has been a staple in the Volunteers backfield since his freshman year in 2014, including rushing for 1,288 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.
Since missing the loss to Texas A&M three weeks ago, Hurd rushed for only 44 yards and one touchdown in the back-to-back losses to Alabama and South Carolina.
A poster believed to be Hurd’s uncle explained on the VolNation message board why his nephew has reportedly decided to leave the program.
“Jalen’s worked his tail off since he’s been here, and it’s time for him to move on. He’s hurt, been hurt, playing hurt (even had an MRI today), and it’s just time to go.
Butch made many promises to Jalen including running more of an I-formation (remember what they did in the entire Outback Bowl last year) to convince him to stay, and then Butch never ran it one time this year. Jalen knew he didn’t fit this system, and wanted to go find a better fit last year, but he believed what the staff said to him so he stayed.
He’s taken a beating, and wants to have a long career in the NFL one day. He will no longer play RB and is considering a change to WR/TE. He is not going to the NFL right now nor does he want to. He’s going to go to another offense and develop at the position first.
He spent time with about 20 of his closest teammates tonight at the team meeting and told them what he had decided. Most knew anyway. Pretty sure he broke down as this has been hard on him.”
Given his status as a junior, Hurd could conceivably declare for the NFL Draft if he so decided. If he transfers, he’d have to sit out one year, unless he graduates from Tennessee. He then could play immediately next season as a graduate transfer.
Former Volunteers wide receiver Jayson Swain confirmed Hurd’s transfer to the SEC Network’s Cole Cubelic.
Volunteers defensive lineman Jonathan Kongbo, also reportedly leaving Tennessee, has tweeted out a picture of two shoes hanging up with the text “All things must come to an end.”
All things must come to an end pic.twitter.com/Zd9YuNLNnD
— Jonathan Kongbo (@Kongbo_1) October 30, 2016
During his press conference Monday afternoon, head coach Butch Jones confirmed Hurd intends to transfer from the Tennessee program.
Jones also addressed Jonathan Kongbo’s tweet during his press conference, saying that it was in reference to losing a match in the video game FIFA, nothing more. Kongbo is still a member of the team.