John Adams: Hurd's commitment makes Beech a Tennessee team

John Adams

The Beech Buccaneers are about to become the third most popular football team in Tennessee. And that has nothing to do with the program’s 2012 state championship.

It has everything to do with the statewide passion for University of Tennessee football, which is too deeply rooted for even 15 years of an NFL franchise to surpass.

The long-standing fervor for the Vols spread to Hendersonville’s Beech High School in mid-March when five-star running back Jalen Hurd committed to Tennessee.

Beech coach Anthony Crabtree realized the ramifications right away.

“We kind of assumed that with the profile player that (Hurd) is and the craziness that surrounds University of Tennessee football, that we might have more people at our games this fall,” Crabtree said. “I don’t think there’s any question that we will have bigger crowds than normal.”

No question at all.

Few UT commitments have so quickened the fan base’s collective pulse rate. Hurd isn’t just the No. 1 prospect in the state. He’s also at a position of great need for a program whose depth chart no longer overflows with future NFL running backs.

New Vols coach Butch Jones could have added a more significant commitment only by plucking another quarterback off the Manning family tree.

Hurd isn’t a sure thing, of course. But his numbers suggest he’s enticingly close.

UT coaches measured him at 6-3¾, said Crabtree, who adds that Hurd now weighs between 232 and 235 pounds. He also mentioned that Ole Miss clocked Hurd at 4.37 seconds in the 40 as a sophomore at its summer camp.

The greatest concern about Hurd entering his senior season might be that he could outgrow his position, which currently favors more compact practitioners, often in the 205-to-215-pound range and between 5-10 and 6-0.

But when Hurd clutches a football and darts for an opening, you don’t notice his height.

“Even though he’s 6-3, his pad level is very good,” Crabtree said. “He runs like a 5-10 running back.”

Hurd has something else going for him as a running back. It’s his position of choice.

“That’s why he does not want to go to Alabama,” Crabtree said. “When he went to Alabama last summer and they split the players up, they asked him to come work with the safeties.

“He won’t play defense at the next level.”

He will play just about everything for the Buccaneers. His workload will include starting at free safety, a position he has played sparingly in the past, and occasionally shifting to wide receiver, or to quarterback in the Wildcat package.

None of that will intrude on Hurd’s primary responsibility.

“He’ll carry the ball 35 or 40 times a game,” his coach said.

Crabtree doesn’t expect Hurd’s college career, which likely will begin next January as an early enrollee, will distract him from his high school assignment.

For the past two springs, Hurd could have missed football practices while rehabbing injuries.

“But he never missed a minute,” Crabtree said. “That’s how he is about football.”

Crabtree isn’t so sure about the players who will surround Hurd this fall. His team suffered heavy losses in the offensive line and on defense. But he loves the work ethic of his new offensive line, and believes he has plenty of talent at the skill positions.

Especially tailback.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

© 2013 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 52

6972 writes:

Hope this young man stays healthy and is able to Git R Dun. We are going to need a quality RB bad.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Might be the biggest commit since Peyton Manning, and certainly one of the state of Tennessee's biggest names in a long while. Stay healthy and bring Beech another state title this year.

NYCApple writes:

Eat it trolls... 4.3 means can easily gain 10more lbs and be at even or still outrun most....at that size, you'll be laughing through your backsides as this kid, who runs like another Vol/Ravens tailback ,comes down on you! Also reminds me of Peterson....

kazoo writes:

I don't know. I hope he's great--but his height might be a problem. At 6'3 he's already /very tall/ for a RB, and he may still be growing. There is a reason most RBs are compact and not very tall--they are not easy to see behind blockers, and more important, they are not so easy to tackle when they are running low. Hurd will not be able to run low, and he'll be a big target. Fingers crossed.

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to kazoo:

I don't know. I hope he's great--but his height might be a problem. At 6'3 he's already /very tall/ for a RB, and he may still be growing. There is a reason most RBs are compact and not very tall--they are not easy to see behind blockers, and more important, they are not so easy to tackle when they are running low. Hurd will not be able to run low, and he'll be a big target. Fingers crossed.

Remember a running back at Ohio St and played for the Titans and won a Hiesman. Thats right Eddie George. Check his size. Six Four and about 240. It can be done and its gonna be fun to watch AT THE HOME OF THE BIG ORANGE !!!!
GO VOLS!!!

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

I remember one who was something like 6:02 and 226 and ran like mall security was after him......to the endzone. It was electric that night in Neyland Stadium.

This was 1980, opening game of the season. It was 15-0 in the 3rd quarter in favor of the Vols. This Georgia coach said we might as well put the freshman in and see what he can do. The rest is history, and Bill Bates will agree.

On one of my visits to U GA, I saw this trophy sitting in a case with Heisman written under it.
One game I enjoyed until Walker entered the fray. Next week, USC with Marcus Allen came to town.........another one we had in the win column........then oh well............

So, that's the size and type of running back the Vols have sorely needed for a long time. Be patient Vol fans........and whiners........

tractoronthepole writes:

Your neighbors from the North in Springfield TN say GO VOLS and GO JALEN!

laraccoon writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Might be the biggest commit since Peyton Manning, and certainly one of the state of Tennessee's biggest names in a long while. Stay healthy and bring Beech another state title this year.

RockyMtnVol writes:

A 6'4" 245 pound RB at 4.37.....who want to take that on? when, not if, he gets into the secondary, not to many DBs out there like tackling a Comet....that's gonna huurrrt. Go Jalen, Goal Line might be easy for him to reach. How many DEs and DTs run 4.37s?

GBO!!!

RashaadSalabeb writes:

He's a man! Can't wait to see him in ORANGE!

Go Vols!

papavol writes:

As a former Hendersonville native and a 2003 graduate of BHS, I have to say that I agree with JA.

Thanks for another great read!

nocleats writes:

Beech players are very well coached. They have a rising Jr deep snapper who is already getting looks from all over. Need Jalens neighbor Malone over at Station Camp HS to hop on in too.!

TNVOLFN writes:

in response to kazoo:

I don't know. I hope he's great--but his height might be a problem. At 6'3 he's already /very tall/ for a RB, and he may still be growing. There is a reason most RBs are compact and not very tall--they are not easy to see behind blockers, and more important, they are not so easy to tackle when they are running low. Hurd will not be able to run low, and he'll be a big target. Fingers crossed.

Valid points, all of them... Explosion, though, is one we should assess.

tnoutlaw2001#228008 writes:

in response to PHAT_VOL:

Remember a running back at Ohio St and played for the Titans and won a Hiesman. Thats right Eddie George. Check his size. Six Four and about 240. It can be done and its gonna be fun to watch AT THE HOME OF THE BIG ORANGE !!!!
GO VOLS!!!

Yeah I remember Eddie George the cry baby that UT and Manning beat when Eddie had that trophy. I remember him crying after the game it wasn't fair UT had better cleats, and used it as an advantage. Let's hope Hurd is nothing like that loser.

TitanandVolfan4life writes:

Anybody that watched Jalen Hurd run the ball in last years State Championship game saw a man among boys and every college in America wants that young man.

Hurd is big, very strong and powerful and he's only going to keep getting stronger and more powerful.

He's going to become a Tennessee SuperStar and you can bet the house on that!

He's just like Eddie George and he will HIT the tackler and by the 3rd quarter the Defense will be hurting and NOT looking forward to trying to tackle Jalen Hurd again.

This young man is VERY special in many ways including a work ethic that never stops and he'll demand the entire team work just as hard as he does.

THANK YOU Mr Hurd for becoming a Vol For Life!!!

I can't wait to see that young man running the ball in Tennessee Orange!

VFL...GBO!!!

heyitsme writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sorry Bryce, I'm not an egotistical, confused, prima-donna running back. I'm grounded, have short and long term goals, and I "want" to be a Vol...!!!

Regards,

Jalen Hurd

frblalack writes:

in response to heyitsme:

Sorry Bryce, I'm not an egotistical, confused, prima-donna running back. I'm grounded, have short and long term goals, and I "want" to be a Vol...!!!

Regards,

Jalen Hurd

+1 Best post of the day!

Welcome to Big Orange Country, Mr. Jalen Hurd!

All Vols - All the Time - Vol for Life!!!

Henley-Street-Bridge writes:

He sounds like Jamal with the Ball just a bit.

Tau_of_Tennessee writes:

James "Little Man" Stewart was a very tall and very successful UT and NFL running back as well.

tensie2004 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Might be the biggest commit since Peyton Manning, and certainly one of the state of Tennessee's biggest names in a long while. Stay healthy and bring Beech another state title this year.

I agree and will be pulling for Beech High School this fall.

ModelMaker writes:

For my money the greatest running back in NFL History was Jim Brown. He was 6'2" 232 lbs. He would simply run right over you or out run you. I have never seen a running back (in my opinion) that could measure up to him. Maybe the Vols have one coming in next year.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Tau_of_Tennessee:

James "Little Man" Stewart was a very tall and very successful UT and NFL running back as well.

Eric Dickerson and most recently a former vol now tearing up the league with Houston have similar bodies and running styles..GBO!!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to tensie2004:

I agree and will be pulling for Beech High School this fall.

I'm from West Tennessee, but I enjoyed watching Jalen run last year so much. I became a fan of Beech as well, and it's good to come from a winning tradition program. That momentum of winning will carry over to our Vols.

SevenT writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hurd balked at the idea of working with the safeties at the Alabama camp. That means he thinks he call tell Coach Saban what position he is going to play. Hurd is a "prima donna".

Just Saying

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to ModelMaker:

For my money the greatest running back in NFL History was Jim Brown. He was 6'2" 232 lbs. He would simply run right over you or out run you. I have never seen a running back (in my opinion) that could measure up to him. Maybe the Vols have one coming in next year.

Unfortunate Jim walked away from football in his prime..He surely would hold the record for most broken tackles..Hard to touch what Payton and Sanders did and I saw Tony Dorsett do things that weren't human

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to TitanandVolfan4life:

Anybody that watched Jalen Hurd run the ball in last years State Championship game saw a man among boys and every college in America wants that young man.

Hurd is big, very strong and powerful and he's only going to keep getting stronger and more powerful.

He's going to become a Tennessee SuperStar and you can bet the house on that!

He's just like Eddie George and he will HIT the tackler and by the 3rd quarter the Defense will be hurting and NOT looking forward to trying to tackle Jalen Hurd again.

This young man is VERY special in many ways including a work ethic that never stops and he'll demand the entire team work just as hard as he does.

THANK YOU Mr Hurd for becoming a Vol For Life!!!

I can't wait to see that young man running the ball in Tennessee Orange!

VFL...GBO!!!

I wonder how good the competition Beech faces is..He makes these DB's trying to tackle him look middle schooler's

voloffaith writes:

in response to SevenT:

Hurd balked at the idea of working with the safeties at the Alabama camp. That means he thinks he call tell Coach Saban what position he is going to play. Hurd is a "prima donna".

Just Saying

well,well,well.....mister kentatsy wants to try and make ajudgement call on what he HURD. Young man wants to play running back and sabini wants abig,fast safety. Their not seeing eye to eye doesn't mean a "prima donna" at all. Young man likes totin' the mail and that's where he wants to play. I don't see that and haven't seen anything else he has said that resembles a "donna prima". Just lil 7t trying to get his paws in and stir the bowl....

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to SevenT:

Hurd balked at the idea of working with the safeties at the Alabama camp. That means he thinks he call tell Coach Saban what position he is going to play. Hurd is a "prima donna".

Just Saying

Stupid assessment. If you were offered a job as a garbage man and didn't take it because your passion and experience don't align with it, does that make you a prima donna?

Stupid trolls. Desperate to create an argument no matter how dumb the logic behind it is.

SevenT writes:

in response to voloffaith:

well,well,well.....mister kentatsy wants to try and make ajudgement call on what he HURD. Young man wants to play running back and sabini wants abig,fast safety. Their not seeing eye to eye doesn't mean a "prima donna" at all. Young man likes totin' the mail and that's where he wants to play. I don't see that and haven't seen anything else he has said that resembles a "donna prima". Just lil 7t trying to get his paws in and stir the bowl....

No, actually Coach Saban can take a look at a players abilities and talent and find a position where the player can be successful at the D-1 level. Players switch positions often when they jump to the next level. Not saying Hurd won't do well at Running Back what I am saying is a winner wants to be on the field playing for the best teams. Hurd appears to be in love with himself and all the glory of playing running back even though he does not fit the mold or have the body. I will take Saban's assessment over Hurd's mother.

Just Saying

Enki_Amenra writes:

Hmm...

It seems there are lots of people who question the potential success Hurd will have, based on his height.

I know that is a valid concern with all tailbacks, but many of the critics are adamant that he will be unable to produce on the same level as the hype surrounding his talent and recruitment.

Does anyone recall other 6'3.75" modern era tailbacks that experienced incredible success on the college and/or professional level?

It seems that many people forget about the incredible talent of a former Heisman Trophy winner who stood 6'3"+ and had great success in the NFL.

This player was also on a team our Volunteers played against (and beat) in a bowl game.

Here's another clue to help you figure out the player's identity: His collegiate team is currently coached by Urban Meyer.

If you haven't guessed it by now, I guess I should reveal the player:

Eddie George.

He was a beast! George's physical stature and running style is nearly identical to what we have been told and what we have seen from Jalen Hurd.

I am not saying Hurd will win the Heisman hardware, but I do believe he has a mountain of potential that could eventually place the bronze statue of Ed Smith in his trophy case.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to SevenT:

No, actually Coach Saban can take a look at a players abilities and talent and find a position where the player can be successful at the D-1 level. Players switch positions often when they jump to the next level. Not saying Hurd won't do well at Running Back what I am saying is a winner wants to be on the field playing for the best teams. Hurd appears to be in love with himself and all the glory of playing running back even though he does not fit the mold or have the body. I will take Saban's assessment over Hurd's mother.

Just Saying

You have officially derailed! I don't think you even know what a prima donna is, nor do I think you understand the concept of labeling someone a 'winner'. Yes... a winner wants to be on the field. A winner wants the ball when the game is on the line. A winner knows how to conjure their talent at will. A winner has true passion for the game and inspires others. A winner is accountable and doesn't blame others when things go wrong. A winner is NOT someone who simply wants to play on a team that's currently winning or give into a position change simply because that's where a coach on a team he doesn't even play for recommends.

By your logic, Tebow would be a prima donna because he refuses to play anything other than quarterback.

BTW - Eddie George was 6'3", 240. Not your typical RB size... he seemed to do alright.

All you've proved is that you know nothing other than constructing lame arguments.

Enki_Amenra writes:

in response to PHAT_VOL:

Remember a running back at Ohio St and played for the Titans and won a Hiesman. Thats right Eddie George. Check his size. Six Four and about 240. It can be done and its gonna be fun to watch AT THE HOME OF THE BIG ORANGE !!!!
GO VOLS!!!

Nice comment Phatty, I missed it and made a similar post above.

George was amazing. That makes it hard for me to understand why he is so easily forgotten and not compared to other taller backs, especially when the style of play and physical stature of the 2 athletes have so many incredible similarities.

(using whiffin' Kiffin's vocabulary = ickspecially when the style of play and physcal stature of the 2 athaleets has minnie incredibol simularities)

laraccoon writes:

in response to SevenT:

Hurd balked at the idea of working with the safeties at the Alabama camp. That means he thinks he call tell Coach Saban what position he is going to play. Hurd is a "prima donna".

Just Saying

replying to yourself, you have officially lost it dude .lol

Enki_Amenra writes:

in response to SevenT:

No, actually Coach Saban can take a look at a players abilities and talent and find a position where the player can be successful at the D-1 level. Players switch positions often when they jump to the next level. Not saying Hurd won't do well at Running Back what I am saying is a winner wants to be on the field playing for the best teams. Hurd appears to be in love with himself and all the glory of playing running back even though he does not fit the mold or have the body. I will take Saban's assessment over Hurd's mother.

Just Saying

Seems like a lot of people have forgotten that football is a game. Sure, some people get paid, whether it's academic scholarship credits or multi-million dollar professional contracts, nothing changes that fact.

People get involved in sports because they are a good way to develop ethics, morals, communication skills, confidence,team-work. and critical thinking. Beyond all they, at the foundation, sports are built on fun.

There are different positions on the field that accommodate all body types and skill sets.

Beyond that, the foundation of fun remains.

When a player finds and understands a position that captures their dedication and provides the highest level of fun, it's a let down to have someone tell you that you are being moved.

If, for any reason, you are moved to a new position mid-season, then a true team player will do whatever is required to help gain 'W's.

What would you do if you could choose a new team, one that allows you to continue playing the position you are passionate about, over a team that makes it known you will not play that position in college?

Would you go to the team that will allow you to play the position you love the most or go to the team who will not let you play that position?

I know which one I would choose... the one I have the most fun with and the one that I believe I am best at.

usafvol writes:

in response to SevenT:

No, actually Coach Saban can take a look at a players abilities and talent and find a position where the player can be successful at the D-1 level. Players switch positions often when they jump to the next level. Not saying Hurd won't do well at Running Back what I am saying is a winner wants to be on the field playing for the best teams. Hurd appears to be in love with himself and all the glory of playing running back even though he does not fit the mold or have the body. I will take Saban's assessment over Hurd's mother.

Just Saying

It amazes me that you feel the need to continually make a fool of yourself. Damn dude, have you no humility at all? Rumor has it that you're from Kentucky. If that's true, I hope the rest up that way are not as ignorant as you..

underthehill writes:

in response to ModelMaker:

For my money the greatest running back in NFL History was Jim Brown. He was 6'2" 232 lbs. He would simply run right over you or out run you. I have never seen a running back (in my opinion) that could measure up to him. Maybe the Vols have one coming in next year.

Agree Jim Brown was indeed the greatest..love the story about the Giants linebacker who told him he stunk..when Brown ran by him he looked back and asked..how do I smell from here..my opinion is about the same as yours..Jim Brown had the talent that could excel in any era..it sure would be something if the Vols have one coming in that can be mentioned with Mr. Brown..

8ball writes:

in response to SevenT:

Hurd balked at the idea of working with the safeties at the Alabama camp. That means he thinks he call tell Coach Saban what position he is going to play. Hurd is a "prima donna".

Just Saying

Girl talk, just saying

Supersayin1 writes:

OMG!! Jalen Hurd 6'3 230lbs, Alden Hill 6'2 220 lbs We are gonna flat out run teams over in 2014!! I've dubbed Hill (Rhino) so I guess Hurd will be the Tank!

not_guilty writes:

Larry Csonka was 6'3" and 238 lbs. Bo Jackson stood "only" 6'1" but weighed 230. Among currently active players, Brandon Jacobs is 6'4" and 264.

And let's not forget William "Refrigerator" Perry of the 1985 Chicago Bears, who played mostly on the defensive line but sometimes lined up in the offensive backfield and scored several touchdowns. He was 6'2" and 325 lbs.

Vols4Ever writes:

You don't have to go too far to find 2 dominate, big, quick backs in UT history who did okay (except one of the below had issue with stereos, Gibbs Hall and shotguns in the trunk of his car).

1. "Give the Ball to Jamal" Lewis.
2. Hubert (4 TDs against the Golden Domers) Simpson.

Saban wanted Mr. Hurd to consider safety because he has Sophomore Mr. T.J. Yeldon at tailback and wanted the 2 most dominate players on the field vs. battling one another.

GBO!!!

CommodoreCapital writes:

After TN goes 4-8, he will sign with Alabama.

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to CommodoreCapital:

After TN goes 4-8, he will sign with Alabama.

Have you seen our new point guard?

murrayvol writes:

in response to ModelMaker:

For my money the greatest running back in NFL History was Jim Brown. He was 6'2" 232 lbs. He would simply run right over you or out run you. I have never seen a running back (in my opinion) that could measure up to him. Maybe the Vols have one coming in next year.

Maybe not but he's got a chance to be the best we've had in a long time. Hope he brings along a few more of his 4 and 5***** friends.

murrayvol writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

Unfortunate Jim walked away from football in his prime..He surely would hold the record for most broken tackles..Hard to touch what Payton and Sanders did and I saw Tony Dorsett do things that weren't human

I beg to differ. It's fortunate that he walked away in his prime.....while he could still walk unassisted. Remember Earl Campbell?

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

I'm a Vandy fan but still hope the local kid has a great career and future. My question is where are all those UT fans who bash 5 stars? When Dooley was bringing in three Stars everyone defended him. Didn't want 5 Stars in Knoxville. Here is a hint, the problem was not the 5 Stars it was a total lack of respect for that coaching staff. Be glad you are getting a world class athlete and quit worrying about his height.

utvolfan1955 writes:

in response to SevenT:

No, actually Coach Saban can take a look at a players abilities and talent and find a position where the player can be successful at the D-1 level. Players switch positions often when they jump to the next level. Not saying Hurd won't do well at Running Back what I am saying is a winner wants to be on the field playing for the best teams. Hurd appears to be in love with himself and all the glory of playing running back even though he does not fit the mold or have the body. I will take Saban's assessment over Hurd's mother.

Just Saying

Your trolling has actually become comical. How did you and your date like the Carousel last night

utvolfan1955 writes:

in response to KnoxVegas88:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I realize the trolls are only trying to rile us up but its fun sometimes to give it back to them

laraccoon writes:

in response to utvolfan1955:

I realize the trolls are only trying to rile us up but its fun sometimes to give it back to them

i would not consider that dude a troll , he is a bitter Fulmerite who posts under several names including 9willbefine and a few others . just bitter Fulmer aint coming back. click his name and read some of his old posts,and 9willbefine too . alot of the times coincide .

exlineman writes:

Folks, Jalen Hurd is not only one of the greatest running backs in the nation, but is a gentleman and a scholar to go with his talent. He is a 4.0 and above grade point average. I have followed him closely for several years now and find he is the top of the line. When he and Jalen Reeves Maybin squared off this year in a playoff game, it was two of the best in the nation going at each other. At least one of them was deeply involved in just about every play. Jalen Maybin, I understand will play defense, but he is also capable of piling up large numbers himself on offense. Those two playing against each other was one of the best high school games that I got to see this past yr.

It would be nice if we had the depth on defense to watch Jalen and Jalen have a lto 2 punch on offense against opponents. You talk about wearing a defense down, these two could do it.

Both Jalens, UT fans are craving for the kind of excitement you two will bring to the Vols. Ignore these trolls that bounce in here answering themselves and putting out stupid garbage on a vol site. Most of them are die hard peabody fans that hate the big orange with hatred that gets to he point of them knowing just enough about football to be dangerous. One of them uses several aka's sounding like an idot each time he makes a post.

Jalen and Jalen, welcome to the big orange hopefully Josh Malone will come with you guys as well. We have some great talent in the ..
district Beech plays in.
Don't know if the center for Clarksville N.E. is being recruited, but he looks like a man among boys in the line for them. He looks like on the field, he could be 6ft. 5in. and 275 lbs. and opens up alot of holes.

mtnbikrtn writes:

"The Beech Buccaneers are about to become the third most popular football team in Tennessee." Sorry John, but when I originally read this I said in my head: 1. Maryville, 2. Alcoa, 3. Beech. It wasn't till the end of the article that I realized you meant: 1. Vols, 2. Titans, 3. Buccaneers (Beech). I'm a Red Rebels homer, but have always pulled for Hendersonville Beech since one of my best college buddies graduated from Beech.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features