Tim Yotter/VikingUpdate.com

Minnesota Vikings meet with low-mileage running back

The Minnesota Vikings could be in search of a replacement running back, talking to one at the NFL Scouting Combine that doesn’t have much tread off the tire.

Alvin Kamara’s road to the NFL Scouting Combine has been a journey full of twists and turns.

One of the top running backs coming out of high school that met with the Vikings at the NFL Scouting Combine attended to three colleges to get to this point.

He started at Alabama, but after a knee injury caused him to redshirt and being suspended from the Sugar Bowl for behavioral reasons, he transferred to Hutchinson Community College, the same place Cordarrelle Patterson went, before going to Tennessee, where Patterson also finished up his collegiate career.

“It was just a long road, you know? From transferring from Alabama, going to junior college, that’s the lowest levels, being true to myself and staying grounded in what I believe in really helped me in the process,” Kamara said. “Then going to Tennessee and obviously standing right here in front of you guys is definitely a blessing.”


Finally landing back in the SEC with the Volunteers, Kamara averaged 6½ yards per carry as he rushed for 698 yards as a junior and caught 34 passes. As a senior, he missed time with a sprained knee and carried the ball only 40 times.

“I talked about that a little bit with teams and it’s honestly a good thing, the limited amount of carries,” he said. “Of course they wanted to see more production, but the limited amount of carries, I mean, save it for the league.”

He said he answered questions about his short stint at Alabama and what went wrong, but NFL teams didn’t delve too deep into those discussions in their allotted 15-minute interviews.

“Just made the best business decision for me,” he said. “I just felt like it was the right business decision for me and it worked out in the end.

“I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, transferring. Everybody transfers for a different reason, different reasons.”

The Vikings could be interested in one aspect of his game that he says has progressed.

“I think it’s grown from the  pass protection standpoint and I think that’s still where I need to grow,” he said. “I’m not where I want to be, but I’ve gotten better. Willingness and more experience with doing it.”

He’s also known as a receiver adept at catching out of the backfield, and as the Vikings shape their offense under coordinator Pat Shurmur that could be a component they explore further, along with Kamar bringing the added component of being a potential returner on special teams.

“I think the league is moving more towards having running backs that can do more catching out of the backfield and do more things in the offense,” he said, “and that’s what my game displays.”

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