Hayden Hurst to enter 2018 NFL Draft
BY: TYRIA GOINES
COLUMBIA, S.C. — USC junior tight end Hayden Hurst confirmed that he will skip his last year with the Gamecocks to join the 2018 NFL Draft.
Hayden Hurst joined South Carolina after playing two seasons in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in the rookie Gulf Coast League, as a pitcher in 2013 and as a first baseman in 2014. He walked on to the Carolina football team in the summer of 2015. During his first season, Hurst played in 12 games. He played at tight end and on special teams early in the season and moved to wide receiver after the UCF game. He was named to the 2015-16 First-Year SEC Honor Roll.
Hurst became an honors candidate after turning in a record-setting season in 2016. He was named 2017 preseason first-team All-SEC by Athlon and selected as a team captain in 2016, becoming the first sophomore in school history to be a permanent team captain.
Hurst is considered to be the most prolific tight end in USC history, setting single-season records for catches and receptions and a career record for catches by a TE. Hurst earned his team’s respect for his relentlessness on and off the field.
After much speculation, Hurst finally announced that after consulting with his family and head coach Will Muschamp that he would skip his last year of eligibility with South Carolina to enter the 2018 NFL Draft.
Hurst released a personal message to the university, staff, fans, and teamates, expressing gratitude for his years at Carolina. He decided to wait until after the season ended to announce his departure.
Hurst is expected to play in the Gamecocks Outback Bowl against Michigan schedule in January 2018.