In 2009 as a freshman, Hayden led the team with 55 tackles, including 15 tackles for loss and 9 sacks. This year, Hayden again led the team in tackles from his defnesive end position, tying with Marcus Jemmison with 76 total stops. Hayden had 16 tackles for loss, including 7 sacks as a sophomore. The 6'3" 230 pound defensive end also recorded two forced fumbles on the season.
Needless to say, Hayden is a terror for opposing offensive lines to deal with. College teams have taken notice. Hayden has offers from at least 10 FBS schools including Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, Baylor, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, SMU, Marshall, and UAB.
"Ever since the spring," explained Hayden, who prepped at John Ehret High School. "I wanted to get back to Louisiana. Coach Koonz from Louisiana Tech came by the school looking for linebackers. He found out I was from Louisiana. He said they needed a defensive end and he started checking up on me."
Pearl River finished out of the playoffs with a 6-3 record. Hayden said it should give him time to heal up. He also plans on graduating in December, so he can enroll in the spring.
Hayden said he chose the Bulldogs for other reasons besides being in his home state. "Tech stuck with me all season," he added. "I got to go up and see their facilities. I talk to Coach Eggen, he says they like me size and my speed. Coach Dykes said they feel like my personality fits the program and that I can make an impact on the team.
Hayden is the 10th commitment for Coach Dykes and the second junior college defensive lienman. Jonal White, another Louisiana native and playing at Jones County, also recently committed to Tech. Hayden and White will be counted on to step right in and pick up the slack from graduating seniors Mason Hitt, Ramone Randle, and Randy Grigsby.
Hayden said he lost a little weight over the course of the season and he weighs 225 pounds now. He said he can add weight if that's what the coaches ask of him.
Hayden is a team player and he should fit right in with defensive ends Matt Broha, Christian Lacey, and IK Enemkpali next season. All four players will help Tech continue the successful pass rush they have had in 2010.