MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Jalen Hurd is rated by 247Sports as the No. 1 all-purpose back in America in the class of 2014. On Thursday in his team’s preseason scrimmage against Tennessee perennial power Oakland High School, Hurd displayed that all-purpose ability, lining up at running back, wide receiver and safety.
With all of that responsibility, Hurd isn’t likely to take many snaps off this fall on Friday nights for his Beech High School team. Though the heavy workload won’t be anything new for Hurd in 2012, the defensive snaps will be. But he’s already getting used to it.
“Defense felt really good,” Hurd said after the Thursday scrimmage. “I didn’t play it much last year. I played when I was little but not much in high school. Getting in there and hitting some was fun.”
At 6-3, 210 pounds, the possibilities seem endless for what Hurd is capable of on the football field at the next level and he’s accumulated all kinds of offers and attention. Currently five schools sit atop his list.
“I named a top five of Alabama, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and Michigan,” Hurd said. “Alabama is still ahead right now but everyone is really close because it’s so early in the recruiting process and I’ve got plenty of time.”
That group of five is listed in order preference and the Crimson Tide sit on top after a recent camp visit by Hurd to Tuscaloosa. Hurd sees himself as a running back on the next level and Alabama sees him at whatever position he names.
“Right now they’re recruiting me as an athlete,” he said of Alabama’s interest. “They’re going to let me come in and play wherever I want and if I come in and I’m successful there, I’ll stay, if not they’ll put me where I’m most needed.”
Along with his recent trip to Alabama, Hurd got on campus in Oxford, Miss. and liked what he saw.
“The visit went really good,” he said. “It’s an impressive campus and the coaches were all great and treated me great.”
Vanderbilt’s inclusion on Hurd’s list of favorites is a big change from his initial impressions of the program back in the spring but the Commodores have quickly climbed the big back’s list.
“Coach Franklin, he’s just a great guy and I really see him doing something in the program,” he said. “The recruiting class is looking really good and I got a chance to talk to some of the players. And my best friend is going there (2014 Vanderbilt commit Jashon Robertson). So that’s always good.”
Along with the southeastern programs, two Big Ten rivals also are staying in the mix in the early going for Hurd and he hopes to visit both this fall.
“I definitely want to get up to Ohio State,” he said. “I might get to the Ohio State Michigan game. I know that’s towards the end of the season. I definitely want to get up to Ohio State and get up to Michigan and I’ll probably visit Vandy a little bit too.
“Coach Meyer, that’s something special right there. All coaches are great but he’s definitely succeeded and looks really good. Michigan has had great teams in the past and they like big running backs too.”
Hurd is currently rated as the No. 48 player in the Top247 for the class of 2014 and is a 247Composite four-star.
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