John Kelly announced Friday he's declaring for the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Vol's star running back made the announcement on Instagram, saying he's thankful for all the support he's received from Vol Nation.
"I want to thank you for all of your support through all of the highs and lows. I will always call Neyland Stadium home," he said. "As I take the next step in my career, I will never forget where it all began."
You can read the full post below:
I'd like to take this opportunity to announce that I will be declaring for the 2018 NFL Draft and thank so many that were instrumental in getting me to where I am today. From my time in Detroit to my collegiate career at Tennessee, words can't express my gratitude to everyone that has helped me throughout my journey. To my friends and family, I want to thank you for always being there for me. To my teammates, and coaching staff, I want to thank you for always pushing me to better myself and grow on and off the field. To Vol Nation, I want to thank you for all of your support through all of the highs and lows. I will always call Neyland Stadium home. As I take the next step in my career, I will never forget where it all began. Detroit and Tennessee will always be a part of me at every step of this journey and I promise to always represent you well. With everything you've given to me, that's the least I can do for you all. From the bottom of my heart - thank you, all. Go Vols!
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Kelly played in 33 games for Tennessee, rushing for 1,573 yards and finding the end zone 15 times. Kelly didn't see significant time on the field until his sophomore campaign, starting for the injured Alvin Kamara against South Carolina. Kelly led the team in rushing yards both his sophomore and junior year.
The three-star Michigan running back joined the Vols back in 2015.
With Kelly's departure, the Tennessee backfield uses its leader, but still has running backs with game experience. Freshman Ty Chandler ran for 305 yards and two touchdowns in his first season on Rocky Top, with most of it coming against the Kentucky Wildcats with Kelly suspended. Against Kentucky, Chandler ran for 120 yards on 22 carries adding his only two rushing touchdowns of the season. Sophomore running back Carlin Fils-Aime will be able to contribute as well. Fils-Aime added 215 yards and two touchdowns on the ground this season.