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Hurst can line up as an inline tight end or he can line up as a big slot receiver. Hurst has a tremendous size for the position. He is a solid run blocker. His seal block on Daeshon Hall (Texas A&M) was the key block on a 75-yard touchdown run. Hurst is a good route runner. He fights for every yard he gets after the catch.
56 receptions, 722 yards, 1 touchdown
Today we look at a player who took a strange path to being an NFL prospect. Hayden Hurst was a four-star baseball prospect at Bolles HS in Jacksonville. He committed to Florida State before deciding to play professionally in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Hurst flamed out in the minors after two years and joined the Gamecocks as a walk-on. He played in all twelve games as a freshman. As a sophomore, Hurst set the South Carolina tight end record with 48 receptions and 616 yards.
2016: Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Georgia, Florida, South Florida (Bowl)
Because of his baseball career, Hurst will be a 25-year old rookie, if he declares after this season. Hurst has a lack of top speed and that limits him from being able to stretch the middle of the field. He also has a tendency to fight the football when he tries to catch it.
Hayden Hurst has the physical size teams crave at the tight end position. What worries me about his future success is his lack of speed. He also only has one touchdown in two seasons. The tools possessed by Hurst will allow him to be a solid number two tight end at the NFL level. However, at this time I can’t project him to be a top level tight end in the league.