Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints #41

New Orleans Saints #41

Alvin Mentian Kamara, was born on 25th July 1995 in Norcross, Georgia.

He had a nomadic college career, starting with the University of Alabama, where he was in contention with other future NFL star running backs, Derrick Henry, T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake. A knee injury didn’t help matters and he was dropped from the team due to behavioural issues.

He transferred to Hutchinson Community College in 2014 and in nine games posted 1,211 yards and eighteen touchdowns. This form led to him being offered a position at the University of Tennessee, playing for the Volunteers for the 2015 season. He set a school record for Tennessee that year with 144 yards and two touchdowns in his debut game.

Following a successful 2016 junior year – 988 receiving and rushing yards with thirteen touchdowns – Kamara decided to forego his senior college year to enter the 2017 NFL Draft. He was selected by the New Orleans Saints as the 67th overall pick and shared his rookie season duties with the experienced running back, Mark Ingram Jr.

The Saints tended to use Ingram as the battering ram and Kamara as the more elusive, pass-catching running back in a successful tandem act and Kamara’s role grew as the season progressed and his ability was on show for all to see. He scored his first pro touchdown in Game Week 3 against the Carolina Panthers and went on to become the first player since 1986 to amass 500 rushing yards in his first eleven career games.

In Week 13, Kamara rushed for 60 yards and two touchdowns and caught 5 passes for 66 yards, becoming the fourth 600/600 rookie in NFL history,and tying Todd Gurley for the league lead in total touchdowns with eleven. He was named to the Pro Bowl in his rookie season. His running back partner Mark Ingram was also selected, making them the first pair of running backs from the same franchise to be selected for the same Pro bowl. Kamara was also selected in the NFL All-Rookie Team for 2017

In 2017, his 728 yards rushing and 826 yards receiving was the first 700/700 season by a Saint, third by an NFL rookie, and the 11th 700/800 season by any NFL player. His 81 receptions on the season were first among all rookies and second in the league among running backs behind LeVeon Bell and his 826 receiving yards finished first among running backs. Kamara and Ingram became the first running back duo in NFL history to each have over 1,500 scrimmage yards in the same season. Alvin was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year for 2017.

2018 saw Kamara star as the main running back for the Saints with Ingram suspended for the first four games and in Game Week 3 he had a career-best game against the Atlanta Falcons, scoring 124 receiving yards alongside his 66 rushing yards. In Game Week 4 before Ingram’s return, Kamara had career-best in carries (19), rushing yards (134) and rushing touchdowns (3) plus 47 receiving yards. This performance left him as the first player in NFL history to score 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in his first twenty games. He finished 2018 with 883 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns and 709 receiving yards from 81 receptions for a further four touchdowns (tied for the franchise record for all-purpose touchdowns – 18)

2019 saw Ingram move to Baltimore, leaving Kamara as the main running back for the Saints and his production understandably dropped off slightly, with final figures of 797 rushing yards for five touchdowns and 533 receiving yards for four touchdowns (two games missed through injury). He was selected for his third consecutive Pro Bowl

He will look to build on his impressive first three seasons in 2020 for the Saints.