South Carolina TE Hayden Hurst was a 17th-round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates coming out of high school.
But, after his baseball career failed to pan out, Hurst shifted his focus to football and walked on with the Gamecocks.
Through five games in this, his sophomore season, he leads all South Carolina receivers with 302 yards on 24 catches.
He told The State that he came in last year trying to earn the trust of his teammates:
“When you see a walk-on, guys are not sure what to expect. Expectations are kind of low,” Hurst said. “I just tried to come in here and work hard. They saw in practice what I could do, and I probably impressed some people last year midway through.”
As a freshman, he said the speed of SEC football overwhelmed him:
“Last year, I was just trying to get the play call and not mess up,” he said. “This year I already know the plays by heart, and I can read the defense and see where I need to get open for the quarterbacks.”
With freshman QB Brandon McIlwain receiving more and more playing time lately, Hurst has a chance to develop quite a rapport with his signal caller in the coming years.
Source: Saturday Down South