Alvin Kamara earned a lot of labels in his rookie season, and Friday added one more — Pepsi Rookie Of The Year. The former Tennessee Volunteer went from 3rd round draft pick to fantasy football waiver wire sensation and ended up being one of the more electrifying running backs the NFL has had in years.
Uproxx Sports recently had a chance to sit down the the Saints rookie to discuss a myriad of topics. His perspective on what happened in the postseason in Minnesota, his bond with teammate Mark Ingram and his whirlwind season.
How does it feel to be named Pepsi Rookie Of The Year?
Man it feels great, it’s an honor to be the Pepsi Rookie of the Year. And I’m just thankful for the fans that voted for me because without them I wouldn’t have the award . Definitely proud.
You participated in the Madden Bowl, which also happens this weekend. So what’s the bigger accomplishment: winning Rookie of the Year or Madden Bowl?
Man we didn’t get to finish. But I’ll say Rookie of the Year. It was a lot of great players: I was up against Marshawn (Lattimore), I think if it wasn’t gonna be me it was gonna be him. Kareem Hunt, Christian McCaffrey, Leonard Fournette. You know for me to be able to pull that out, it means a lot.
This was a loaded running back rookie draft class, how did it feel to come out on top at the end of the season?
It was a reward for all of the hard work, It’s a lot that went into this (season). I feel like I been playing for two years straight from college to the draft process to the combine and for all of it to come to a head at the end of my rookie season and winning the rookie of the year award, it’s incredible.
Describe what you were feeling at the end of the last postseason game? That had to be hard losing on a walk-off touchdown.
It’s Football. In this game things like that happen. If they didn’t happen, this game wouldn’t be interesting. Of course we thought that we had the game won and just ten seconds left. Stefon Diggs. Great player made a great play and we are where we are right now. We feel like we still should be playing but it is what it is and we’ll come back stronger next year.
You’ve had a whirlwind of a two week period from the Pro Bowl to Madden Bowl to being named Rookie of the Year, what’s that been like?
It’s been fun, definitely. The Pro Bowl with all my teammates and all my coaches and out here doing things, then winning the Madden Bowl and now just winning the Rookie of the Year Award. It’s been a lot going on, but if you prepare, you’ll be ready for it.
You and Mark Ingram shared the same backfield this year, what was one of your lessons you learned from him?
Just to put your all into whatever you’re doing. When we’re in practice, it’s not a game, we treated practice like a game. It was why we were able to have success that we had on Sundays. Sometimes I had to look to him and draw energy from him. It was my first year so there was a lot of learning and a lot of growing pains but he kept me in it and kept my head on right and I’m thankful to have him has a teammate and a friend. Mainly a friend.
Going off the field a bit, I know you’re a big fan of the Migos. What did you think of their latest album?
I love it, it’s the same thing. It goes hand in hand, sports and the music. I see them growing and work hard and become who they are today. I’m just proud that they are able to reap the benefits and success and be on top. And really they’re on top. I’m proud of them, Quavo, Takeoff, Offset. Quality Control, you know. The whole team.
If your running style were a musician, who would it be?
Um I don’t know *pauses*.. who’s got a style that’s electrifying and exciting *long pause again* Travis Barker on the drums.
Going into next season what can we expect from you?
More of the same and even better. I’ve had a year to learn and figure out what this league is about. Now that I know, I got more knowledge of it so I’m gonna go harder. And that’s what you can expect.