Tennessee running back John Kelly might be taking after another Volunteers great in Alvin Kamara as he has declared for the NFL Draft after his junior season when people didn’t think he would. Kelly is doing the same thing as he had less than 800 yards rushing, but did finish the season with over 1,000 yards from the line of scrimmage.
Kelly took a beating this year as he had 189 carries amid the 4-8 season and at times was the only option at times for an abysmal Tennessee offense. He had three games where he rushed 20 times or more and could become like Kamara who goes in the middle rounds of the draft, but turns out to be a great rookie.
Here is the full announcement from Kelly’s Instagram:
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!
The 5-foot-9, 205-pound back is similar in size to Kamara so you can imagine that scouts are going to look at him similarly before he gets drafted. Of course, he will have to test out well at his Pro Day and the NFL Combine, but with the proper training that should not be an issue.
Tennessee will now have to turn to Ty Chandler, Carlin Fils-Aime and whoever else the Volunteers bring in for the 2018 recruiting class to take over the running back spot.