High school athletes signing contracts with Major League Baseball teams and then returning to football as a college player is nothing new. There was Brandon Weeden who came back from baseball and played college football at Oklahoma State. He was later a first round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns.
Then, there was Chris Weinke of Florida State. He won the Heisman Trophy and then was a 4th round draft pick and played 7 seasons in the NFL.
Everybody knows about the most successful one of them all in Russell Wilson of Super Bowl
Hayden Hurst graduated from the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida in 2012. He played football in high school, but he excelled in baseball.
The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Hurst. He was also recruited to play college baseball, but he chose to play Professional baseball.
He was a pitcher and he did pitch in the 2013 season. But, he apparently had control issues and he moved to 1st base for the 2014 season.
By then, he evidently had enough of pro baseball and he decided football and his college degree might just be a better option for him.
Hayden Hurst is 6-4, 250, which helps, and he walked on at South Carolina.
Hurst played some last year under the previous coaching staff and caught 8 passes for 106 yards. They used him as a Wide Receiver.
With the arrival of Will Muschamp, it feels like Hurst will be a Tight End and will get more playing time.
Since he was able to play Wide Receiver, Hurst has a little bit of speed which makes him an
intriguing prospect as a Tight End.
Muschamp’s offenses were pretty weak at Florida, but hopefully he learned a few things by his failures.
A lot of times, a coach won’t even really consider a walk-on player. But, in the Gamecock Spring Game when asked about his Tight Ends, Muschamp singled out Hayden Hurst first.
He only mentioned one other player and that was Kevin Crosby and Crosby will be split between Tight End and Running Back. He’s more suited for a Running Back position at 6-1, 225.
It appears that Hayden Hurst will find plenty of playing time in 2016 and he could be a Tight End to watch for in the future.
Or, he could be a guy to watch for even this season.