Former Vols RB Jalen Hurd is out of sight, out of mind for most Tennessee fans.
But the quotes coming out of Waco, Texas are hard to ignore for most of the Big Orange faithful, who are still a little perturbed at the former star of the Vols offense for his midseason exit from Butch Jones’ program last fall.
Now a wide receiver at Baylor, Hurd is forced to sit out the 2017 football season due to NCAA rules. But that isn’t keeping him from practicing with the Bears during preseason camp.
On Tuesday, Baylor coach Matt Rhule left some Vols fans collectively scratching their heads when he praised the leadership qualities of Hurd.
“He’s a guy that makes everyone around him better with his effort and the way he practices,” Rhule said, according to ESPN 1660 host Craig Smoak.
The praise didn’t stop there, as Smoak reports that Rhule considers Hurd as the team’s leader even though he will not be able to play this season:
Rhule would like to have an OL and skill guy step up as leaders. Right now, that player is Jalen Hurd who's sitting out due to transfer.
— Craig Smoak (@CraigSmoak) August 8, 2017
While Hurd showed extreme talent on the field for the Vols during his 2.5 seasons on Rocky Top, there are plenty of Tennessee fans who are rightfully cynical about the leadership chatter for a guy who caused such drama for the Vols during a turning point in the Tennessee season.
Vols starting RB John Kelly has made it pretty easy for the Tennessee faithful to move on from the Hurd era. And the outlook for the future at tailback remains strong for the Vols, as incoming freshman Ty Chandler already is turning heads during preseason camp.