Hayden HurstTE S. Carolina

6-4, 250, (O) 4.67! 4.37 SS,

3-Cone 7.19, 10" Broad! 

31.5" Vert! 32.1" Arms,

Testing The Seam. Part II.

By TOM

Hurst is an older prospect. "As hard as it was, what I went through in those three seasons, it’s made me a pretty resilient person," Hurst said. "I was pretty much at the bottom of the sports world. Stayed in the rookie league for three years, but battled my way out, made a life change and brought myself to this situation." He is already 24-years old. 

Because he played minor league baseball for the Pirates and washed out. "It was tough. Like I said, I still haven’t found the root of it to this day," Hurst said. "I was All-American everything in high school. Never had any problems. Got with the Pirates. I played my first season. I dominated, did really well. Came back, and things just kind of fell apart. I exhausted all my resources trying to figure it out." He has the size, athleticism, and speed to be a good one in the NFL. 

He has smooth hands dragging outside away from the QB. "He’s big and he’s athletic. And the guys that play tight end in that League are the guys that are mismatch guys," Wash ST QB coach Spurrier Jr Said. "Different by different teams on how much they’ll ask him to get in the trenches and block. Honestly, I didn’t watch him a lot this year on how well he did at that. But his athleticism and his ability to run and catch make him a pretty good NFL player, in my opinion." Runs a nice jerk route that gets him wide open heading to the sideline. 

He will lined up on the Seam as the slot guy. "I don't know if he's dynamic enough to stretch the field, but he's got good hands and a really good catch radius. He can extend and pluck," a scout said. "He's one of the few guys who can play attached or in the slot and be effective. He can do both. On teams that have to run the ball, in the AFC North maybe, or Minnesota, teams that have that type of tight end, he'll be very effective." He has that knack for getting open deep down the Seam. 

He can have a tough time blocking DBs in space. "I just tell them to watch him," his TE coach Pat Washington said. "Watch him as a football player. Once you get him as a football player you’re going to get a great individual, a very hard worker, a guy that will be a leader in his room, a guy you don’t have to worry about. He's not going to do anything crazy. I think he's pretty mature." You can see him succeed in every kind of block you want a Move TE to make. 

Nice job getting down the seam, and breaking open in Out route. "He's a grown man out there. No, he is literally a grown man," a scout said. "I love watching him play but he's 24 now so I think he's maxed-out. He is who he's going to be physically so now we have to see how much better he gets as a football player." He can get down the seam fast, and get behind the LB, and catch the ball with his arms extended easily. 

He can run the physical patterns through the LBs and break open over the middle. "If they’re judging his talent only by what he does at the combine they’re mistaken," Washington said. "You need to watch his film. That tells you what he can and can’t do." He is fast, and can run straight Seam patterns with terrific speed. 

The more I watch him the more impressed I am with his blocking. "Once you go through about four years of riding that bus in baseball and then make a decision to play football, all the little silly things that these young 17, 18, 19 year old kids are doing, they don’t do," Washington said. "They've done it. They don't waste their time with it. They are focused, they know exactly what they want and they’re going to grind and get to the level they want to be at. He’s a humble kid. He’s going to work extremely hard, and he has a little ability to go with that. I think he’ll do well, I really do." He can shove the DE inside, and then seal the OLB outside.  

I don't think he is a 1st Round pick. When he gets low and can push the DE up, he looks like a great blocker. But he is still inconsistent in blocking. He can line up outside the D-end and give him a good pop inside. He can shove the OLB into the FB, and then go and hit the safety coming up fast. 

2017: Junior who was one of the nation's top tight ends... named first team All-SEC by both the Associated Press and by the league's 14 coaches... was a semifinalist for both the Mackey Award, which recognizes the nation's best tight end, and the Burlsworth Trophy, which recognizes the nation's top walk-on... named 2017 preseason first-team All-SEC by the league's coaches and Athlon, and was a second-team selection by the media... named a midseason first-team All-SEC pick by The Athletic... was the team's second-leading receiver with 44 catches for 559 yards... ranked seventh nationally among tight ends in receiving yards and tied for 10th in receptions... also rushed nine times for 30 yards... had two receiving touchdowns and one rushing TD

He can be slick in pattern, especially off play action. Nice outside release on OLB, and then can out run him down the Seam. Nice motion blocker. He looks like an H-back to me. He can slam the OLB off his feet with a great impact in front off the Jet Sweep. 

They run a lot. He needs some work on his Patterns. His QB was also a very inaccurate thrower. He should be a better Pro, just with a QB who can hit him going down the sideline, or on Outs. He has some heaviness in his hands. 

Additional Note:

Combine: He is a little overrated. He will be a 25-years old rookie, so improvement will be less likely with him. He is very inconsistent in patterns, and catching the ball. If he can steady himself he could be a good one. I watched a game where he didn't do much, and then flew down the seam and caught a 50-yard pass as smooth as tight end I've seen. He exploded at the Combine with top five speed in the Forty, and top five explosion in Broad Jump. 

He blocked in line at SC. He uses his hands and feet very well in balance blocking. No drop in 2nd gauntlet. He had great natural hands in 2nd gauntlet. Smooth catching it over the middle. Nice hands and feet in comeback. He can track the deep ball, and catch it naturally. He showed great hands at the Combine. 

Missouri: Needs to be stronger in route. He took off into the box, and the LB knocked him clean off his feet. Then he used his hands to push off the LB on the next route, but look hesitate and didn't get open. He has smooth hands moving out into the flat. Nice job blocking when he gets his hands in the LB's shirt. He lined up primarily at H-back against Missouri, but he did a good job bursting forward and blocking in the run game. He is better when he has a yard or two to aim, when he is inline. 

He didn't play with the most accurate QB. He will cross the line and miss the crack back block. His QB missed him twice on wheel routes were he was uncovered in the 1st half. When he is inline, outside the DE, he can rock the DE's head sideways with an great impact on the down block. He is a good double team blocker. He can draw the flag on an Out route in front of the LB. He has the speed to get open down the Seam, and then run away from the defense for the TD. 

He can catch the ball thrown on the wrong shoulder, straight arm the puny FS to the ground, and the slip out of bounds. Nice blend of size, hands, and strength. He can get open on the goal line in the corner of the Endzone. They will give him the ball on a Jet Sweep, and he scored a running TD against Missouri on a Jet Sweep running over two defenders. 

He caught three passes for a team-high 69 yards and a score, and also had a rushing TD at Missouri.

A&M: Nice job on wheel route running away form the OLB. He can use a nice punch on the OLB in pattern. Nice inside block on 2nd level to string the RB outside. He can look tentative running short patterns in the Box. He consistently is able to jam a DL on the line into a teammate, and then go hit a guy on the second level. Nice lead blocking outside.  

He logged six receptions for 76 yards at Texas A&M.

Hayden Hurst Vs Michigan:

He can power through the LB and catch the ball consistently over the middle (:01). Great job lining up like a FB, and run blocking with a thunder crack on the LB (:06).They really like to line him up in the backfield (:14). And when he can block like that it is easy to see why. You can see the OLB's head snap back at contact.

Is he multiple? After two straight FB plays, he is lined up outside. Watch the nice block out on the edge with his arms extended in space (:22). Much better blocking on the edge. The last one was lost between blocking and coverage, but that was pure blocking (:29). He missed the tackle from the H-back position (:39). Lined up like an actual tight end (:47). Nice release. He has a knack for running patterns.

Great job in blitz pickup. He blocked that like an OL. He bent his knees, extended his arms, and slide backwards nicely. Blocking like that could make him a Patriot on Day Two (:55). It seems he is a bit of a hit or miss blocker (1:04). He does not run pattern to get open (1:11). He got dug under, but he kept the defender occupied (1:19). Inline at the point and he does a nice job (1:32). I think that is the best way to describe him. He does a nice job.

That was a great release off the line, but he doesn't break open off his cut in pattern. He is not explosion in breaks (1:39). He looked like he had some speed going down the Seam, but he didn't show the long speed there (1:45). That is not a great block on the second level (2:00). Nice job, but he didn't get more than was given (2:16). That was a nice pattern that should have gotten him a TD (2:24). Um (2:30). He showed great speed down the seam there. That was the first time he looked like a 1st to me (2:47). Then he leaped up over two LBs, and dragged it in. That was a great catch.

I think that was an option run (3:03). Finally another nice block (3:10). That was not good tape.

Hurst Vs Michigan:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JoyuEC66_E

Hayden Hurst Vs Arkansas:

That was not a 4.5, but it was one hell of run. He can be dynamic with the ball in his hands (:01). That was the best Out pattern I've seen him run (:27). He struggled to get open in pattern sometimes (:39). Nice seal block, but he seemed to stop blocking before the whistle (:48). Nice seal block (:59). But again he stopped, and the defender didn't.

He did a nice job getting to the DB on the 3rd level (1:16). Nice crack back block (1:29). Great job helping the ORT, and then sliding off to stop the LB with a great block (1:40). He sat down in the zone (1:55). But it is not in an open space. 

He is not afraid to hit (2:07). There is the deep speed he was suppose to have. That was the first time he looked like a 4.5 guy to me (2:15). Nice flag pattern over the middle, and then the safeties never had a chance to reach him (2:39). Though the Safeties didn't have the angle.

I liked how he used his speed there to get position on the block. Then he held it with some grit, a little longer than normal (3:02). He looked like he got the worst end of that block on the smaller guy (3:10). I wouldn't draft him. He is so hit or miss (3:17). He makes the spectacular play digging the ball out of the turf, after struggling to block the smaller DB. 

Then he gets to the second level with a nice finesse block (3:48). He showed a little pop in that block (3:58). He used his speed to get open in the flat (4:07). He was wide open down the seam, and the QB blew it (4:17). That is the best lead block I've seen him crack back (4:41). They love that crack back block in that offense (4:51). I don't know. I wouldn't draft him on Day One. I'm not sure I would draft him on Day Two either. But he could develop into a Panthers TE type H-back. That is his ceiling.  

Hurst Vs Arkansas:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuYOSolHQmg

Hurst's Official Bio:

2017 Team Captain
2017 First-Team All-SEC (AP and Coaches)
2017 Mackey Award Semifinalist
2017 Burlsworth Trophy Semifinalist
2017 Strength & Conditioning Award
2017 Unselfish Teammate Award
2017 Tenacity Award
2017 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll
2017 Outstanding Student-Athlete Representative
2016 Team Captain
2016 Co-Strength & Conditioning Award
2016 Co-Tenacity Award - Offense
2016 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll
15-16 First Year SEC Honor Roll

2017: Junior who was one of the nation's top tight ends... named first team All-SEC by both the Associated Press and by the league's 14 coaches... was a semifinalist for both the Mackey Award, which recognizes the nation's best tight end, and the Burlsworth Trophy, which recognizes the nation's top walk-on... named 2017 preseason first-team All-SEC by the league's coaches and Athlon, and was a second-team selection by the media... named a midseason first-team All-SEC pick by The Athletic... was the team's second-leading receiver with 44 catches for 559 yards... ranked seventh nationally among tight ends in receiving yards and tied for 10th in receptions... also rushed nine times for 30 yards... had two receiving touchdowns and one rushing TD... caught three passes for a team-high 69 yards and a score and also had a rushing TD at Missouri... logged six receptions for 76 yards at Texas A&M... went over the 1,000-yard receiving mark against Arkansas when he caught two passes for 76 yards, including a career-long 62-yard reception... broke the school record for receptions by a tight end in the Vanderbilt win, surpassing Danny Smith's 78 catches from 1984-87... set a career-high with 93 receiving yards on seven catches at Georgia, earning John Mackey National Tight End of the Week accolades... caught five passes for 59 yards against Florida, and also forced a fumble, keeping the Gators from a score... owns the school record for a tight end and ranks 17th overall with 100 catches... ranks second among tight ends for career receiving yards with 1,281, behind only Danny Smith's mark of 1,336... named a permanent team captain for the second-straight season... given the Strength & Conditioning Award, the Unselfish Teammate Aard for the offense, and the Tenacity Award for the offense... named the Dr. Harris Pastides Outstanding Student-Athlete Representative at the 2017 Garnet & Black spring game... a former professional baseball player who came to South Carolina as a walk-on... named to the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll... invited to the NFL Combine.

2016: Sophomore tight end... named one of four permanent team captains... set Carolina's single-season record for catches by a tight end with 48... the previous mark was 38, set by Doug Hamrick in 1970... was the first Carolina tight end to catch 30 passes since Weslye Saunders in 2009... also broke Danny Smith's school record for receiving yards by a tight end (576 in 1987) with 616... ranked among the nation's top dozen tight ends in both receptions and yards receiving... had at least five receptions in five games and at least 80 receiving yards in four contests... logged a career-best eight catches for 68 yards against Mississippi State... caught two passes for 43 yards in the East Carolina win... came up with a season-high 36-yard reception to set up South Carolina's crucial field goal in the fourth quarter against the Pirates... led all players with seven catches for 84 yards at Kentucky, including a 30-yard reception to set up Carolina's touchdown... caught five passes for a career-high 90 yards against Texas A&M... also threw one pass on a trick play against the Aggies, finding A.J. Turner for a nine-yard reception... led all players with six catches for 86 yards in the Georgia game... also served as the Gamecocks' punt returner against Georgia, becoming the biggest punt returner in Division I football in recent memory... caught three passes for a team-high 63 yards at Florida, including a career-long 47-yarder, when he matched a Carolina single-season record for tight ends... caught one pass for 15 yards and completed one pass on a trick play, which went for 12 yards, in the Western Carolina victory... caught three passes for 26 yards and carried the ball twice for nine yards at Clemson... hauled in six passes for 86 yards in the Birmingham Bowl against USF, including his first career points... hauled in a 25-yard touchdown reception for Carolina's first score of the contest and tallied a two-point conversion to tie the game late in regulation... shared the Strength & Conditioning Award with Cory Helms as selected by the coaches... shared the Tenacity Award for the offense with Zack Bailey as selected by the players... nominated for the Burlsworth Trophy... named to the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll... placed on scholarship in the spring.

2015: Former professional baseball player who played in the Pittsburgh Pirates' organization before walking on to the Carolina football team in the summer of 2015... played in all 12 games, making one start... caught eight passes for 106 yards... played at tight end and on special teams early in the season... moved to wide receiver after the UCF game... caught his first pass, a nine-yard reception, at LSU... hauled in a career-long 47-yard reception at Texas A&M... made his first career start and responded with a pair of catches for 12 yards against Florida... had two catches versus The Citadel... named to the 2015-16 First-Year SEC Honor Roll.

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