However, the 6-foot-2, 278-pound center prospect from Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph Regional not only demonstrated he belonged in the competition, but he excelled in it.
Well before Hatton was selected as one of the top five offensive linemen by the event’s organizers, Scout.com made the decision to add a star to his ranking and rate him a four-star prospect. He is the No. 4 center in the 2015 class.
“It means a lot me,” Hatton said. “I really wanted to be a four-star recruit. I really believe my abilities show I’m a four-star recruit and I’m very happy. A lot of hard work went into it, and I think I showed out pretty well here. I competed against the best and held my own, and I’m happy with my skills and I’m happy how I competed.”
Hatton’s strength, technique and competitive fire were on display. He was able to play low and he used his quick hands well to get inside of defensive linemen and control the line of scrimmage. His lower body strength and his ability to move his feet and remain set in his pass-blocking base aided in his ability to dominate reps. As a result of his on-field performance, he was consistently being lauded by the Scout.com team of national recruiting analysts.
“To be honest, I really impressed myself out here,” Hatton said. “I didn’t know how I was going to stack up against the competition. At the NFTC, there really wasn’t that great of competition, so I really wasn’t battle tested too much. I just trusted my technique. That was the biggest thing. I didn’t go away from my technique. I trusted it, and stayed true to it.
“All the hard work I put in really helped me out here, and I’m really thankful for all the people that helped me get to where I am, but I have to keep getting better.”
Hatton added he was able to improve his technique working with the coaches at the event, and cited his work with former NFL offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley in helping him improve his technique.
“To make the final five was a nice achievement,” Hatton said. “I’m just really happy with my play out here, and the coaching is unreal. They really helped me out here with a lot of stuff. “
The leg injury will keep Hatton on the sidelines for about six weeks, but he should be ready for the start of his senior season.