Hurd '100 percent' healthy, focused on first college football game

The shoulder injury that ended Jalen Hurd’s high school early will have no bearing on the start of his college career.

My shoulder is completely, 100 percent (healthy),” the University of Tennessee running back said Monday. “I’ve taken plenty of hits. We went live multiple times during our practices. I’m just ready to go.”

Hurd initially injured the shoulder as a junior but still rushed for a state-record 3,357 yards and 53 touchdowns and led Beech to a state championship. When the issue resurfaced during a season-opening victory over Station Camp last August he opted for surgery in order to stabilize the joint.

The expectation is he will be a significant part of the UT offense this fall.

Given that he does not have to think about the injury, his mind is free to concentrate on other things. The first game of his college career (Aug. 31 vs. Utah State), for instance.

“You have to think about the game every single day,” Hurd said. “Every single time I wake up I'm thinking about Utah State and thinking about the season. You have to go into that with every practice knowing you're getting one day closer. You have to get your technique right, finish long runs. You got to do the little things.”