Chase Hayden may have Tennessee in his blood, but Arkansas is on his mind.
The Collierville (Tenn.) St. George’s three-star running back has several big-time offers, including from the Volunteers and Razorbacks, as well as Arizona, Louisville, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.
With so many offers, he said his dad, former Tennessee and NFL running back Aaron Hayden, has been a huge help in the recruiting process.
“It’s very helpful since he’s been through it,” Hayden said. “He’s telling me to find a school that’s the right fit for me. He’s not pushing me one way or another.”
While Hayden grew up a Tennessee fan, he is aware of the Razorbacks’ history of running backs. In fact, he remembers watching the 2006 Arkansas-Tennessee game, when ESPN’s College Game Day came to Fayetteville for the first and only time.
“I do (have memories),” Hayden said. “Especially when I used to follow Arkansas closely when they had Darren McFadden and Felix Jones, so I remember them playing Tennessee.”
Those memories have given him enough interest to want to visit Arkansas. He’ll be at the Razorbacks’ annual Red-White game Saturday.
It will give him a chance to meet Arkansas’ coaches, including his main recruiters: defensive line coach Rory Segrest and running backs coach Reggie Mitchell.
“(I’m looking forward to) just meeting the coaching staff and seeing the campus,” Hayden said. “I feel like we have a pretty good relationship. I talk to them almost every week.”
Hayden has already visited Tennessee, Mississippi State and South Carolina this spring and plans to visit Oklahoma State and Illinois sometime soon.
There is no timetable for when he’ll make his decision.
“It’s still up in the air, but I’m going to try to trim things down going into the summer,” Hayden said.
He is coming off a junior season in which he rushed for 2,625 yards and 37 touchdowns while leading the Gryphons to a state championship. He earned Tennessee Mr. Football for his efforts.