The USC athletic department issued an apology Monday afternoon and took down an Instagram video from National Signing Day that featured derogatory remarks about five-star Tennessee freshman tailback Jalen Hurd.
Five-star Tennessee freshman tailback Jalen Hurd with Vols football coach Butch Jones.
“USC Athletics apologizes for an inappropriate comment overheard on a video created on National Signing Day. The video has been deleted,” USC posted on its official athletics Twitter page.
The National Signing Day “War Room” video featured an unidentified person off camera making a derogatory remark about Hurd while ESPN’s camera’s discussed him and some other Tennessee signees.
“Jalen Hurd is so soft and terrible. I don’t know why he (unintelligible),” a voice on the video said.
Several Tennessee fans have taken to social media to claim the comments came from former Vols national championship-winning quarterback Tee Martin, who’s an assistant on the USC football staff.
Attempts by 247Sports to reach Martin for comment have been unsuccessful, but former Vols receiver and current Tennessee Sports Radio host Jayson Swain said he spoke with Martin on Monday.
Martin didn’t seem to confirm or deny that the voice on the video was his, but the former Vols star said he wished Hurd “nothing but the best” going forward.
“I’ve never had any dealings with Jalen Hurd, and (I) wish him nothing but the best at Tennessee,” Martin said, according to Swain. “He's happy he’s there.”
USC was not listed among the many teams recruiting and Hurd a scholarship during his days as a five-star prospect at Beech High School in Hendersonville, Tenn.
Hurd committed to Tennessee early in the recruiting process and enrolled in the school in January. He’s scheduled to take part in spring practice after missing much of his senior season with a shoulder injury — a setback that required surgery.
Contact Wes Rucker at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.twitter.com/wesrucker247 or www.facebook.com/wesrucker247