New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara took home the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year from Saturday’s NFL Honors Award Ceremony in Minneapolis. Kamara’s average 6.1 yards per carry in 120 rushes to beat out fellow running back Kareem Hunt out of Kansas City and Texans Quarterback Deshaun Watson. According to Sports Illustrated‘s Ben Baskin, Kamara became the third rookie in league history, and the first in over 30 years, to tally at least 800 receiving yards and 700 rushing yards.
As the third round draft pick out of Tennessee, Kamara was the fifth running back taken in the draft. Kamara was added to the Saints roster along with veteran running backs Mark Ingram and future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson. By mid season, Peterson was traded to Arizona and Ingram continued to mentor the rookie.
After receiving his award, media asked Kamara about his relationship with Ingram, “I wish he was here because he’s a big reason why I’m standing right here… Great teammate, great friend, a brother to me, great mentor. I came in and he showed nothing but love to me and helped me with anything I needed, whether it was on or off the field. Our friendship off the field helped us tremendously on Sundays. We created a bond I don’t think will ever break.”
Kamara’s total of 14 touchdowns also earned him his first trip to the Pro-Bowl this year and was also chosen by fans as the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the year. His NFL Honors award led to the Saints sweeping the Rookie division with the Defensive Rookie of the year being awarded to teammate Marshon Lattimore. The Saints’ winning 2017 draft will undoubtedly make them a formidable force in the future.
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