New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara has been named Sports Illustrated's Breakout of the Year.
Each year, new stars emerge in the NFL. These are players who have displayed growth since their previous year in the league and are given a new chance to shine or surprise us with unexpected performances. Each year, SI recognizes these breakout athletes, and no one is more deserving of the 2018 award than the Saints' second-year star.
The 23-year-old Georgia native has already surpassed the numbers he put up during a celebrated debut campaign that named him the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year last season. Through 12 games this season, Kamara has recorded 742 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. He's also added 555 yards receiving and four scores through the air. He's helped lift the Saints back into the playoffs and back into Super Bowl contention.
Kamara achieved all of that coming off of a standout rookie season, one that saw him averaging 6.1 yards rushing per carry and 10.2 yards receiving. He finished the year with 728 yards rushing and 14 total touchdowns despite starting the year off in a crowded backfield.
Kamara was the 67th-overall pick in 2017 and was drafted by the Saints in the third round out of Tennessee. In his two college seasons, Kamara rushed for a total of 1,294 yards and 16 touchdowns while adding 683 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. He averaged 6.2 yards rushing across the two years and finished third in the SEC in touchdowns in 2016.
SI's 2018 Sportsperson of the Year will be revealed on December 11 at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Los Angles and celebrated at SI.com and on the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Award Show airing on NBC Sports Network on December 13 at 9 p.m. ET. Comedian and actor Joel McHale will host this year’s event.