KNOXVILLE - Tennessee Volunteers running back Jalen Hurd is transferring, according to coach Butch Jones.
Jones said he met with Hurd on Monday morning, and said the two have a “great relationship.”
“Jalen has informed me that he intends to transfer,” Jones said at his Monday afternoon news conference. “I support him on that. I’m very, very thankful for everything he’s done for our program, but it’s all about our football program and our football team.”
WNML’s Jimmy Hyams first reported the news of Hurd’s decision.
Jones denied any schematic promises made to Hurd that might have prompted the transfer.
“I value our relationship, and have a lot of respect for that young man and wish him nothing but the best,” Jones said of Hurd.
John Kelly becomes Tennessee's presumed starting running back with Alvin Kamara out for Saturday's game with a knee injury against Tennessee Tech.
As a junior, Hurd is eligible to go pro if he decides to declare for the 2017 NFL Draft, which is scheduled for April 27-29.
The NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis will be held Feb. 28 - March 6, 2017.
Hurd has one more season of eligibility if he decides to transfer to another school.
Hurd is the third player to leave the Vols' program this season. Defensive lineman Danny O'Brien was dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules, and wide receiver Preston Williams announced his decision to transfer in October.
Hurd rushed for 451 yards on 122 rushing attempts and three rushing touchdowns this season. He is averaging 3.7 yards per carry.
Last season, Hurd ran for 1,288 yards on 277 rushing attempts and 12 rushing touchdowns. He averaged 4.7 yards per carry.
Hurd finishes sixth in UT's record books with 2,638 rushing yards for his career. Travis Henry holds Tennessee's rushing record with 3,078 yards.
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
Hurd has been upset at the way he has been used in Tennessee's zone-read scheme— Jimmy Hyams (@JimmyHyams) October 31, 2016
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
On Sunday, Vols defensive end Jonathan Kongbo tweeted a picture of a pair of cleats hanging up with the message "All things must come to an end."
Jones cleared that up on Monday, saying that Kongbo lost in a FIFA video game, and the cleats pictured were soccer cleats.
"That's why we don't push the panic button," Jones said.
All things must come to an end pic.twitter.com/Zd9YuNLNnD— Jonathan Kongbo (@Kongbo_1) October 30, 2016
(© 2016 WBIR)