Former Gamecock Hayden Hurst taken 25th overall by Baltimore

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Former Gamecock tight end Hayden Hurst was selected 25th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft Thursday night by the Baltimore Ravens, becoming the first USC player taken in the first round since Jadeveon Clowney in 2014.

The Ravens traded back nine spots and filled a very big need at the position.

Hurst has been widely considered the best tight end in this year’s class, after two stellar seasons with the Gamecocks. He caught 92 passes for 1,175 yards and three touchdowns between his sophomore and junior seasons.

Hurst also has tremendous blocking ability and should give Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco an extra blocker and receiver.

The former Gamecock didn’t always play football. In 2012, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him in the 17th round of the MLB Draft, and he spent two years as a pitcher in the Gulf Coast League before falling out of love with the sport.

Hurst walked on to the USC football team in 2015 and played receiver and tight end.

In 2016, Hurst set Carolina tight end records for receptions (48) and yards (616) and was the first sophomore in Gamecock history to be named a team captain.

Hurst becomes the third Gamecock in 2018 to be selected in the first round of a professional draft, joining women’s soccer standout Savannah McCaskill (second overall in the National Women’s Soccer League) and women’s basketball star A’ja Wilson (first overall in the WNBA).

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