NCAA Football: Kentucky at Tennessee

Former Tennessee Volunteers and Norcross running back Alvin Kamara (6) was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft on Friday by the New Orleans Sains. (Photo: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports)

Norcross grad Alvin Kamara’s journey to the National Football League came to fruition on Friday night.

The New Orleans Saints selected Kamara 67th overall in the third round of the NFL Draft.

The Saints gave up a 2018 second-round pick and their seventh-round pick from this year to the San Francisco 49ers to trade up for Kamara and the 67th overall pick.

“I am excited to work with some great talent, players and great people,” Kamara told NewOrleansSaints.com. “It is a great organization and I’m ready to get to New Orleans and be a part of that.”

Kamara originally signed with Alabama out of Norcross, but left after just one semester. He ended up at Hutchinson Community College, where he ran for 1,211 yards and 21 touchdowns in his redshirt freshman season.

He signed with Tennessee, and in two seasons with the Volunteers he rushed for 1,294 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also returned punts, averaging 10.2 yards per return.

He set a new Tennessee record with 312 all-purpose yards against Texas A&M last season.

"I think the city of New Orleans is going to be excited about him,” Tennessee running backs coach Robert Gillespie said in a press release from the school. “He really fits the city. He is a hard-working kid, plays with a lot of energy and passion... he's going to give everything he has. He is going to be an explosive playmaker and I think he is a great addition to what (the Saints) do on offense."

Mark Ingram led New Orleans in rushing last season with 1,043 yards and six touchdowns on 205 carries. The Saints bolstered their rushing attack in the offseason by signing seven-time Pro Bowler Adrian Peterson to a two-year deal.

Saints head coach Sean Payton will likely use Kamara in the same role that former running backs Darren Sproles and Reggie Bush played, as pass-catchers out of the backfield.

Kamara caught 74 passes for 683 yards and seven touchdowns for the Vols.

“I think it’s pretty similar,” he said of how he compares to Sproles and Bush. “Those guys catch a lot of balls and did a lot of things with their versatility. I feel like I am kind of the same type of player. Just versatile and able to catch and run the ball well. Just excited to see how it will unfold.”

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Sports writer for the Gwinnett Daily Post. Bringing you the most up to date info on Gwinnett County prep sports and the Georgia Swarm.

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