Tennessee coach Butch Jones didn’t have to think long nor hard when asked who Alabama star tailback Derrick Henry reminded him of. The best comparison, Jones said, is on Tennessee’s roster.
“The first one that comes to mind is Jalen Hurd,” Jones said during the SEC teleconference on Wednesday. “Both are big backs with breakaway speed.”
Hurd has 572 yards on 126 carries for 4.5 yards per carry this season. Henry has 901 yards on 152 carries for a 5.9 yard average. The two have similar size. Hurd is listed as 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, Henry, 6-3 and 242 pounds.
Henry and Hurd will be on the field together Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala., when the Vols face No. 8 Alabama.
“I feel Jalen Hurd is one of the top backs in the country,” Jones said during the mid-week press conference.
Hurd missed practice Tuesday because of the flu. Jones said he’s mostly recovered thanks to a day of rest.
“Not a real big concern,” Jones said. “He’ll go through a full practice today. … We fully anticipate him being ready to go.”
Tennessee is utilizing tight end Neiko Creamer to simulate Henry on their scout team. Creamer is listed at 6-3 and 233 pounds.