Butch Jones announced Monday morning that Tennessee football running back Jalen Hurd will transfer. Who’s at fault for the Volunteers running back’s issues?
This has become the biggest shock of all in the traumatic aftermath of the Vols’ sickening 24-21 loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks this past Saturday. Jones confirmed the rumors that Hurd is transferring away from Tennessee.
The bombshell dropped Monday morning, just two days after what was undoubtedly the worst loss of Jones’s career.
And with it, the wheels continue to come off of what was such a promising season for Tennessee football.
Sources indicate that Jalen Hurd wants to play receiver or tight end somewhere else.
Sources: Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd told teammates last night he plans to transfer and play receiver or tight end at his new school
— Jimmy Hyams (@JimmyHyams) October 31, 2016
Jones said all the right things in his Monday press conference about Hurd, including touting Hurd as a player and a hard worker. He added that Hurd has been dealing with injuries throughout the year.
However, other sources tell a different story.
According to The Tennessean, reports surfaced dating back to the Georgia game that he was unhappy with how he was being used.
Based on a post by Clay Travis, it would appear that the coaches lied to Hurd about how they’d use him this year.
Reports that running back Jalen Hurd has quit Tennessee team. Here’s a purported post from his uncle explaining why: pic.twitter.com/i7llKHNDAN
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 31, 2016
However, there’s a caveat to this. Jalen Hurd didn’t seem to have lots of support from his teammates. Notice his touchdown against South Carolina this past weekend. Hardly anybody congratulated him.
If Hurd had been lied to, you would think that a few guys out there would support him. Even Terrell Owens had support when he split apart teams.
So the question here remains. Who’s at fault?
Fans have been begging Butch Jones and Mike DeBord to run more I-Formation plays in short-yardage situations ever since he arrived in Knoxville. If he did indeed lie to Hurd about his intent to use him on more of those plays, that’s a scandal in it of itself.
And it’s a fireable one at that, not just due to his lying but due to the fact that he simply needs to run more plays from that formation.
However, if Hurd has just been isolating himself, maybe he is a bit of a sore loser and simply can’t handle when things are going poorly.
In that case, the voice of who we believe to be Tee Martin was right about him all along.
Whatever the case, it’s now time for John Kelly to step up. And when Alvin Kamara gets back, the Vols will still have a stable of running backs.
Add in Ty Chandler for next year and Carlin Fils-Aime, and the future is very bright at that position.