Three down and two to go.
The clean-up hitter in this line-up is Jalen Hurd, the No. 1 prospect in Tennessee, the No. 7 running back in the country, and the No. 42 overall prospect in America on Scout. This was a huge get for the Vols.
Hurd and Paulk will really feed off each other and both bring different talents and skills to the table. Both can be very successful at UT under Butch Jones.
Hurd had all the offers. He was pursued by schools from coast to coast, and is an elite prospect, so keeping him at home is a homerun for the UT staff.
The 6-foot-3, 212 pound back out of Hendersonville (Tenn.) Beech ran for well over 3,000 yards as a junior, he took his team to a state title, and he is bigger back that has a lot of natural ability.
When talking about Hurd, you can't help but see his size. He is a long athlete with very good flexibility and he runs lower to the ground than may expect him to. He has quick feet for his size, he can move laterally, and he is a long-strider that covers a lot of ground very quickly when he gets to the second level. He can run with some power and he can be elusive for a back with his length. He has deceptive speed and he can also catch the ball out of the backfield well.
He is a back that will continue to get stronger, fill out physically, and mature as a running back. He is a back that is great on the perimeter and he can stick it up between the tackles too.
Paulk is the opposite of Hurd when talking size. Paulk is a 5-foot-9, 191 pound back with great balance, great acceleration, and he can really break defenders down in the open field. He is not a burner, but he is very quick and he hits that hole with great quickness.
Many may think he is more in that scat-back mold, but that is not the case. Paulk is thick, he is strong, and he may run with a little more authority than Hurd does. He has no problem running behind those pads. He is great in zone schemes and can bounce it outside or run between the tackles.
These two backs really could give Tennessee a great 1-2 punch in the future. Hurd is a that big back with a stiff arm and someone who could play at 240 pounds down the road and Paulk is that quick back who can hit a crease quickly and get past the front wave of defense.
The Vols landed two very good backs this week and Jones and company have to be very excited about having this duo in the future.