"I like academics, players and coaching staff. I felt it would be a good situation," said a happy Casey Hayward. Hayward committed on his visit to Vanderbilt on Sunday. Hayward was the 17th player to commit to Vanderbilt during the 2008 recruiting year.
Hayward, who played safety and quarterback at Perry, put up some mind-boggling statistics on the field. Hayward had 30 tackles, 4 interceptions (3 returned for touchdowns), 10 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble, 1,300 passing yards, 18 touchdowns, 1,284 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. The Georgia native, who will play cornerback at Vanderbilt, earned 1st Team All-State and All-District honors. He was also selected as the Wilcox County Athlete of the Year.
Troy, Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss, and North Carolina were all schools that were interested in Hayward. All offered the talented athlete except for UNC. Hayward had a visit scheduled for this weekend to Chapel Hill to check out the Tar Heel program but has decided not to take it.
Hayward, who was recruited by Vanderbilt assistant coach Charlie Fisher, led his team to a 9-4 record and a quarterfinal appearance. In a close game Perry lost by 2 points, "we missed a field goal with 10 seconds left but that's not the story of the game," said Hayward.
Hayward hopes to make an immediate impact as a freshman but won't be worried if he doesn't, "If I don't I'm just going to go in the weight room and get stronger for next year," commented Perry.
Follow Hayward's Vanderbilt career on VandyMania.com.