Written by: Chris Brooks, Gannett Tennessee
Jalen Hurd’s senior season is over almost as soon as it began.
The Beech high standout injured his shoulder during Sunday’s 42-39 Buccaneers victory at Station Camp.
He only missed a couple of plays during the contest, but it was found Monday that he had a torn labrum in his right shoulder, the same one that forced Hurd – a Tennessee commitment – to miss one full game and limited him to one carry in another last season.
Hurd’s mother, Tara Smotherman, confirmed the injury, saying “any kind of contact is going to hurt him and possibly hinder him, so we’re going to go ahead and fix it so he can move forward and be ready to go at UT in the spring.”
Hurd is scheduled for surgery on Sept. 9 and will miss the remainder of the season.
“They’re going to stabilize the shoulder really well now, so we shouldn’t have to worry about any more dislocations,” Smotherman said. “Had this been later in the season, he might have been able to play. But with it being so early, there was no reason to risk re-injury.”
He gained 177 yards on 20 carries, scoring three touchdowns in Sunday’s victory. He also had a first-quarter interception in the nationally-televised contest on ESPN2.
Hurd broke the single-season state rushing record last year as a junior, gaining 3,357 yards and scoring 43 touchdowns, earning Class AAA Mr. Football honors on the way to Beech’s undefeated season and state championship.
Hurd’s absence leaves senior Dorian Carter as the starting running back for the Buccaneers. Carter scored twice and had 175 yards on 15 carries. Sophomore Auston Vanzant will see increased action as well. Vanzant spelled Hurd and Carter during the second half on Sunday.
Beech will host Henry County on Friday. Hurd ran for 451 yards against the Patriots last year as the Bucs won 55-41.
Hurd was unavailable for comment.