For the people who know me, they know that I love a good story for athletes especially when it comes to playing with them in Madden. Every season (and we have done a ton!) I spend time researching players I want to get behind. So I figured why keep all of this information to myself, I should share my findings with the world! Also, this will let my brothers who are in these Madden leagues with me understand the method behind my madness. Plus, (I know I am rambling at this point) Comedy Chair needed an Award to be able to honor great talent and success in the world of sports!
This latest season I stumbled across a true utility athlete who started his collegiate career at the University of Tennessee and ended it at Baylor University. The Swiss-army knife’s name is Jalen Hurd.
Jalen Hurd at Rocky Top
Before we start sing “Good ol’ Rocky Top. Rocky Top, Tennessee”, I have to explain how I found Mr. Hurd. As I was trying to find players to fit my “big time college feels” team mentality, I started to review all of the wide receivers who were taken in the 2019 NFL Draft. I found a couple of good hidden gems based on their college stats and hype/highlight videos on YouTube. Then fate stepped in as I came across a 6’4” wide receiver who was taken in the 3rd round by the San Francisco 49ers; Jalen Hurd, Baylor University. Hurd’s highlight reel at Baylor, which we will talk about in a second, was very impressive; but then I laid my eyes on Jalen Hurd’s running back highlights at the University of Tennessee. Cue the music…
Rocky Top, you’ll always be
Home sweet home to me
Good ol’ Rocky Top
Rocky Top, Tennessee
Rocky Top, Tennessee
In 2014, a 6’5” 220+ lbs running back prospect began his collegiate career at the University of Tennessee after a terrific high school career; Hurd, in his junior season, rushed for 3,357 yards with 43 touchdowns (7 of which were down in the Tennessee State Championship game). Hurd quickly made an impact for the Volunteers by rushing for 899 yards with 5 touchdowns. He also showed off his receiving skills by hauling in 35 catch for 221 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Hurd continue to show his skill set off in his sophomore year as he rushed for 1,285 yards with 12 touchdowns along with 190 receiving yards with 2 touchdowns. Struggling with injuries his junior year, took a long look into the mirror and made two career changing decisions.
Lions and Tigers and BEARS! Oh My!
After 3 years playing running back for the University of Tennessee, Jalen Hurd decided not only to transfer to Baylor University, but also switch positions! Hurd switched from running back, where he was averaging around 4 yards a carry, to wide receiver. He was asked why he decided switch after being successful at running back in one of the toughest conferences and Hurd said he realized the career life span at running back significantly lower than wide receiver in the NFL.
Wide Receiver life begins in the great state of Texas! Of course, because he transferred, Jalen Hurd had to sit out the 2017 season. He’s much anticipated Baylor University debut began on September 1, 2018 against Abilene Christian and he didn’t disappoint. Hurd would register 4 catches for 58 yards and a touchdown. Throughout the 2018 season, Hurd would have three games of over 100 receiving years (136 receiving yards versus UTSA, 104 receiving yards versus Oklahoma, and 135 receiving yards versus Kansas State). Hurd would end his first and only season at wide receiver in college with 69 (ayyy!) receptions for 946 receiving yards and 4 receiving touchdowns! He would also provide some throwback abilities at running back with 48 carries for 209 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. Hurd would be named the Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year. Unfortunately, Hurd would suffer an injury to his knee in the season finale against Texas Tech which would result in him missing Baylor’s final game in the Texas Bowl against Vanderbilt.
Despite running into several injuries in College, Hurd had a very successful collegiate career, which would earn him being a 3rd round draft pick to the San Francisco 49ers. 6’5” 230lbs natural running back who can play well enough at wide receiver to be drafted in the NFL will always be an impressive candidate for Comedy Chair’s Player of the Month and a beautiful Madden Story! Congratulations Jalen Hurd for being named Comedy Chair’s FIRST Player of the Month!