Tennessee Vols: John Kelly Channels His Inner Odell Beckham Jr

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 05: Alvin Kamara /

Tennessee Vols junior running back John Kelly is expected to be a key part of the offense in 2017.

Tennessee Vols junior running back John Kelly might be one of the most underrated players in the SEC heading into the 2017 season.

Kelly was fantastic in 2016, despite playing behind Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara.

The Michigan native rushed for 630 yards and five touchdowns on just 98 carries (6.4 yards per carry). He also caught six passes for 51 yards.

But before you scoff at those receiving numbers and dismiss Kelly as a pass catching threat, perhaps you should check out the ridiculous Odell Beckham Jr like catch that he made in practice this week.

What an adjustment by Kelly. And then the actual catch? Just wow.

I have some extremely high expectations for Kelly in 2017, but that’s only because he’s capable of being one of the best running backs in the SEC. Not only is he a leader on the Vols’ football team, but he’s also going to provide Tennessee with a punishing ground game.

And he doesn’t have anyone pushing him for carries (though I think true freshman running back Ty Chandler will see a decent amount of action), so it’s quite possible that Kelly could statistically have a historically great season in 2017.

Folks seemed to be concerned about Tennessee’s lack of experience at the skill positions, but having a player like John Kelly on the roster should alleviate those concerns.

Next: 2017 Pre-Season SEC Power Rankings

If Kelly keeps making ridiculous catches like the one above, fans might have to start worrying about whether or not Kelly will still be in Knoxville in 2018.