Alvin Kamara has turned into an NFL superstar for the New Orleans Saints after going underused at Tennessee.
Alvin Kamara began his college career at Alabama, but after a stint at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, he made it his goal to return to the SEC.
After a huge season at Hutchinson, Kamara wound up at Tennessee. Despite being the more efficient and, for the most part, effective rusher than Jalen Hurd, he was the back-up running back for Tennessee until Hurd’s abrupt transfer away from the program.
As Kamara has gotten out to an unbelievable start to his NFL career, many have wondered how Butch Jones’s Tennessee program could misuse Kamara so badly. Apparently Kamara has similar questions. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Kamara did not mince words when asked about his experience as a Vol.
After one season, and one conference offensive player of the year award, Kamara transferred to Tennessee, finally back in the SEC. But he’d soon learn that something felt off, again. “F—ed up” is how Kamara describes the football experience in Knoxville. Kamara is clearly a dynamic force on the field, but a coach must scheme for his abilities. To fully actualize his impact on the field, an offense needs to adapt around him, create specific packages and plays that utilize his rare versatility and skill set. Tennessee chose not to do that.
For two years he was the backup to Jalen Hurd, despite averaging 2.31 more yards per touch than the starter. Of course it was frustrating. But Kamara still believed that wherever he ended up in the NFL, whatever round he was drafted, it would work out. As long as I get the chance, he would tell friends before the draft, I’ll shine.
Kamara totaled 989 yards and 10 touchdowns from scrimmage as a sophomore, and another 988 and 13 scores as a junior, finishing with an average of seven yards per touch during his two seasons in Knoxville. Some analysts liked Kamara as a potential undervalued sleeper in the 2017 NFL Draft, but no one could imagine him breaking out the way he has in his first professional season.
As a rookie, Alvin Kamara has become part of a nasty one-two punch with another former SEC star—Mark Ingram—and has 1,554 total yards from scrimmage and 13 touchdowns.