Memphis wide receiver Cam Miller seems to be trending towards Alabama of late while Dallan Hayden is focused on the trio of Notre Dame, Ohio State and Tennessee. Kody Jones and the Vols seem to be in a solid place but he continues to hear from the Mississippi schools.
Tennessee is recruiting him as an athlete; however, it may lean more towards running back now, after watching the four-star rush for over 2,000 yards with 24 touchdowns this fall.
“I talk to Tennessee about every two weeks. I hear from them often,” Hayden said. “I mostly talk with coach [Derrick] Ansley and [head] coach [Jeremy] Pruitt. They said they could see me on either side of the ball, but they will probably start looking at more offense now.”
In the pro-style scheme, Hayden dominated his opponents on Friday nights.
Specifically, the Vol legacy showed out against Memphis University School and Conway – running for over 200 and 300 yards, respectfully, with four touchdowns in each outing.
“I really took over and dominated in those games,” Hayden said. “It felt great to have our offense clicking like that with everyone working hard.”
Coming from a football family, the Memphis native’s strengths are speed and physicality when running the football. He wants to win and wants stability in a program that will help him grow and mature into the best he can be.
“I want to see coaches who care about what they are doing and ones who are going to be there and not leave,” Hayden said of the recruiting process. “I’m looking for a program with great tradition and a school that has great academics – that’s very important. I want a program that will provide me with a chance at the next level.
“I’ve been taking part in a few virtual tours and have done a ton of facetime calls. I’m really hoping things open up so I can take my official visits next season.”
But as far as interest from the Vols, it’s surreal for the in-state product.
“When I was growing up, we would go to games all the time. I remember watching Arian Foster, Montario Hardesty and Jalen Hurd play,” Hayden reflected. “I’ve grown up around this program – I’ve known the Power T for a while.
“It’s a dream come true for them to have interest in me.”
If the 2020 Mr. Football award winner goes on to follow in his father’s footsteps in Knoxville, he won’t be the only award winner to stay in-state and become a Vol.
In fact, there’s been at least one Vol who won the award in each of the past eight years.
The list includes current Vols Omari Thomas (2019), Eric Gray (2016, 2017, 2018), Cade Mays (2017) and Ty Chandler (2015, 2016). Former Tennessee players who also won the award during this span were Jauan Jennings (2014), Josh Malone (2013), Jalen Hurd (2012) and Todd Kelly Jr. (2012).
Dallan’s older brother, Chase, won it back in 2015 as well.
“I want to win this award again and I want to help get my team to state,” Hayden said of next year. “I want to leave a legacy behind here at CBHS. I want to go out as one of the best to ever play in program history.”
Look, I know you are relatively new to the board, relatively speaking, but here is a small piece of free advice, so take it for what it’s worth.
You’ve never experienced a coaching change process on this board, but I can tell you it’s gonna get a whole lot uglier, real fast, especially if Pruitt is retained. I don’t know which side of the “fire him/keep him” fence you reside on, but if your plan is to go after every poster that voices their displeasure over the current state of affairs, the coach, the staff, the team, the AD, well...you’re gonna tire out real quickly.
Let people rant and rave. Emotions are running high over the flaming pile of trash we witnessed this season, and Pruitt is public enemy #1, right now. Use the ignore feature if you must, or just take a break from VN altogether. The constant calling out posters for dogging the program and everything associated with it is no less annoying to others than the complaining is to you.