Vikings tracking CB with scheme in mind

The Vikings are said to "love" a cornerback who displays a lot of the qualities they desire in their scheme, even if he isn't the one of the top-ranked ones in the draft. But looking at comparison charts, it's tough to figure why he isn't considered a top-five cornerback.

Vanderbilt cornerback Casey Hayward considers himself one of the top five cornerbacks in the draft and expects to be drafted in the first or second round. If the Vikings' interest in him is commonplace around the league, that projection could come true.

Hayward is a considered a second- or third-round prospect by draft analysts in the media.

According to an NFL source, the Vikings "love" Hayward, and there is good reason for that.

The scouting report on Hayward is that he might not be as athletic as some of the top cornerbacks in the drafts, but he has top-notch instincts, preparations skills and work ethic. He reacts to the ball well in the air and has good hands, as his 15 interceptions will attest.

In a comparison charts with some of the other top cornerbacks in the draft, Hayward was targeted 70 times as a cornerback and gave up only 13 receptions. He also ranked first in passes defensed per game, receptions given up, yards allowed and completion percentage in his area. Adding to his attraction by the Vikings is that Hayward is a solid run defender and considered good in zone coverage concepts.

Here is profile of Hayward from Dave-Te' Thomas of NFL Scouting.



CASEY HAYWARD
Cornerback/Free Safety
Vanderbilt University Commodores
#19
5:11.1-188
Perry, Georgia
Perry High School

OVERVIEW

Hayward has been the unquestioned leader of the Commodores' defensive unit since joining the starting lineup prior to his sophomore campaign. With his quick feet and hip flexibility, he has done an excellent job of not only mirroring the receivers and disrupting his opponent's route progression, but has been the "ultimate savior" with his big play ability. His ability to track the ball in flight, along with outstanding leaping ability, has seen him consistently win battles to get to the ball vs. much taller receivers.

One of the most fearless hitters in the collegiate game, Hayward recorded 31 touchdown-saving tackles after opponents broke free from other Commodores defenders, thinking that they had great opportunities to score. Eighteen of those touchdown-saving tackles came in run force, as the first cornerback to ever lead the team in tackles-for-loss (8.5 in 2009) registered 113 stops vs. the ground game, limiting those ball carriers to just 332 yards (2.94 ypc), despite playing in the secondary. Ten of those runners were stopped at the line of scrimmage for no gain and he killed fourteen scoring drives with third-down tackles.

Where Hayward excels is in keeping his opponents from the ball vs. the aerial game. He has had 242 passes targeted into his area, allowing only 71 receptions (29.34 pass completion percentage) for 498 yards and just two touchdowns, as those opponents averaged only 7.01 yards per completion and 2.06 yards per pass attempt. He rerouted and jammed his coverage assignments on 106 of those pass attempts (43.80%), as he posted 74 third-down hits and five more on fourth-down snaps.

Hayward also shattered the school career-record with 46 passes defended, tied for the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision lead among active players and good for 11th on the major college all-time record chart. His 15 interceptions are tied with Leonard Coleman (1980-83) for the school career-record. Proving his ability to keep the opposition out of the end zone, he delivered 37 of his tackles inside the red zone, with 12 coming on goal-line plays. He has also provided support for the Commodores' special teams, in addition to seeing brief action on offense as a senior.

Prior to his arrival at Vanderbilt, having been recruited by Charlie Fisher and signing his national letter-of-intent to attend the university on Jan. 21, 2008, Hayward was a standout performer as a quarterback, defensive back and kickoff returner for the Perry High School Panthers. The team captain started each of his last three years on offense and his final two campaigns on defense, scoring 36 times while also throwing 39 touch-downs during his career, in addition to finishing with a 30.5-yard kickoff return average.

As a junior, Hayward completed 49 of 135 passes (36.30%) for 841 yards and nine touchdowns while leading head coach Andy Scott's squad to a 7-4 record. He also totaled 745 yards on 115 carries (6.48 ypc), finding the end zone 11 times on the ground. That year, he helped coach Brett Hardy's Perry High basketball team to an 18-9 record during the 2006/07 campaign. He also excelled as a sprinter and triple jumper for the track-and-field squad.

In 2007, the four-time member of team's Leadership Council, earned Panthers Most Valuable Player honors, in addition to receiving All-State, All-District and All-Region 4B/AAA first-team accolades, guiding the team to a 9-4 record. He was also chosen Wilcox County Athlete of the Year and Houston County Athlete of the Year as the Rivals.com three-star prospect guided the squad to the state Class AAA quarterfinals.

That season, Hayward rushed for 1,284 yards and 18 touchdowns on 214 carries (6.0 ypc). He completed 95 of 165 passes (57.58%) for 1,300 yards and 18 more scores. On defense, he recorded 30 tackles with a forced fumble, 10 pass deflections and four interceptions, returning three of those thefts for touchdowns. He again performed as the starting guard on the 2007/08 Perry High hoops squad, in addition to handling the triple jump and competing as a sprinter for the track team.

As a true freshman, Hayward appeared in all 13 games at Vanderbilt, seeing most of his action on the special team coverage units, in addition to performing as a reserve nickel back later in the schedule. He recorded eight tackles (3 solos), in addition to deflecting three passes, making one touchdown-saving stop. He posted three tackles for the kickoff coverage squad and one more with the punt coverage unit, where he caused a fumble in the Mississippi clash.

In 2009, Hayward took over strongside cornerback chores for ten games, shifting to free safety for two starting assignments vs. Georgia Tech and Florida. Despite missing some early season action while dealing with migraine headaches, he ranked fifth on the team with 58 tackles (40 solos) and a QB pressure, becoming the first cornerback in school history to lead the ‘Dores in tackles-for-loss (8.5 total – seven solo stops and three assisted hits).

He rerouted receivers away from 27 of 63 passes targeted into his area (42.86%), as just 22 of those tosses were caught (34.92%), coming up with seven pass breakups and two interceptions, delivering 19 third-down stops and one more on a fourth-down snap vs. the aerial game. He also limited ball carriers to just 86 yards on 34 attempts (2.53 ypc), as he registered a total of six touchdown-saving tackles.

As a junior, Hayward garnered All-Southeastern Conference honors, as he started all twelve games at cornerback, placing fourth on the squad with a career-high 71 tackles (57 solos) with two stops behind the line of scrimmage and a forced fumble. He made 33 hits vs. the ground game, as those runners managed only 131 yards (3.97 ypc) while the junior delivered twelve touchdown-saving tackles and had seventeen tackles inside the red zone.

In the secondary, he set a school season-record with seventeen passes defended, tops in the conference and third in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision ranks. He also posted six interceptions, tied for second on the school annual record chart, making 28 third-down stops while rerouting receivers away from 33 pass attempts, allowing only 31 of 87 passes targeted into his area to be completed (35.63%), 230 yards and a score.

Prior to his senior campaign, Hayward set his sights squarely on a big achievement in 2011. "I want to lead the SEC again in pass break-ups and in interceptions, but my main goal is the Jim Thorpe Award," he said of the honor that goes to the nation's top defensive back. "Working with (new cornerbacks coach Wesley) McGriff, I think I have a good chance of doing that."

His new coach was equally confident that his "new pupil" would earn the highest of honors and be a coveted early round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft. "The biggest thing NFL teams look at is confidence," McGriff said. "The second-biggest thing they look at is, 'Can we invest in this young man and get a return on our investment?' How is he going to respond when he gets beat on a deep ball? Once they past that test, they look at the physical qualities. Casey possesses a lot of qualities NFL teams look for."

In 2011, Hayward received All-American and All-SEC honors. He recorded 62 tackles (46 solos), ranking fourth on the squad with 7.5 stops-for-loss. He ranked fifth in the nation and tied for the Southeastern Conference title with seven interceptions, as his total of seventeen passes defended (1.71 pg) also led the SEC while ranking seventh overall in the FBS ranks.

In pass coverage, Hayward allowed only 16 of 82 passes targeted into his area to be completed (led major college starting cornerbacks by seeing opponents complete just 19.51% of those throws). He rerouted his assignments away from 42 of those passes (51.22%), deflecting 10 throws while picking off seven others. He delivered 25 third-down hits and three fourth-down stops vs. the passing attack. He also carried five times for 60 yards (12.0 avg), in addition to returning a kick 11 yards and a punt 12 yards.

CAREER NOTES
Hayward appeared in 50 games for the Commodores, starting his last 37 contests, as he recorded 199 tackles (146 solos) with 18.0 stops for losses of 35 yards, a quarterback pressure and a forced fumble…Defended 46 passes, deflecting 31 tosses while coming up with 15 interceptions for 126 yards in returns (8.40 avg) and one touchdown…Saw brief action on offense as a senior, gaining 60 yards on five carries (12.0 ypc)…Added 11 yards via a kickoff return and 12 yards on a punt return…Hayward's fifteen interceptions rank second among active players in the NCAA football Bowl Subdivision ranks, topped by only Sean Baker of Ball State (18)…His 15 pass thefts also tied Leonard Coleman (1980-83) for the school career-record and rank tied for 14th in Southeastern Conference annals (most by an SEC performer since Corey Webster of Louisiana State recorded 16 thefts, from 2001-04)…His 126 yards gained via interception returns placed seventh on the school all-time record list…Hayward's became the seventh player in school history to lead the team in interceptions twice in a career (2010-11), as his seven interceptions in 2011 tied Donald Gleisner (1952) and Ed Oaks (1975) for third on the Vanderbilt season-record list, topped by only Scott Wingfield (eight in 1973) and Leonard Coleman (eight in 1982)…
His six interceptions in 2010 tied him with David Malone (1964) and D.J. Moore (in both 2007 and 2008) for sixth place on the Commodores' season-record chart…His five pass thefts in 2011 tied him with Donald Gleisner (1951), Russ Morris (1959), Neal Smith (1968), Christie Hauck (1969), Ken Stone (1971), Jay Chesley (1974), Manuel Young (1984), Chris Donnelly (1989) and Myron Lewis (2008) for 10th place on the school annual record list… His 46 passes defended topped the previous Vanderbilt career-record of 36 by Robert Davis (1990-93), and are tied with Josh Robinson of Central Florida (36 pass break-ups, 10 interceptions) for the most among the Football Bowl Subdivision's active players, as that total also tied Christian Morton of Illinois (41 break-ups, five thefts; 2000-03) and Perrish Cox of Oklahoma State (36 break-ups, ten interceptions; 2006-09) for 11th place on the NCAA FBS career-record list…His 17 passes defended in 2010 set the school season-record, surpassing the old mark of 16 by Robert Davis in 1993, as the senior would match that record again in 2011…Hayward's six pass deflections vs. Arkansas in 2011 set a school game-record and was two shy of the NCAA game mark of eight pass break-ups by Joselio Hanson of Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State in 2002…His six pass deflections were the most by an SEC player in a game since Corey Webster of Louisiana State broke up five throws vs. Georgia in 2003…Hayward became the first defensive back to lead the team in tackles-for-loss in a season (8.5 in 2009), which are also the most by a Southeastern Conference in a season…The cornerback had 242 passes targeted by the opposition into his area, as 71 were completed (29.34%) for 498 yards and two touch-downs, an average of 7.01 yards per completion and 2.06 yards per pass attempt…Posted 74 third-down stops and five fourth-down hits while making nineteen touchdown-saving tackles and eight stops behind the line of scrimmage vs. the aerial game…Collected 113 hits vs. the rushing attack, limiting those ball carriers to 332 yards (2.94 ypc) and no touchdowns, coming up with eleven stops-for-loss, ten tackles at the line of scrimmage for no gain, and fourteen third-down hits…Made 37 tackles inside the red zone, including twelve on goal-line plays.

2011 SEASON
Hayward was named to The NFL Draft Report's All-American Super Sleeper Team, in addition to being selected All-Southeastern Conference first-team by that scouting information service… Earned All-American second-team honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation…Member of the Nagurski Award Watch List, an honor given annually to college football's top defensive player…Semi-finalist for Jim Thorpe Award honors, given to the nation's top defensive back…NFLDraftScout.com rated Hayward as the top "rising star" among 2012 NFL Draft-eligible cornerbacks…Also received All-SEC second-team accolades from the conference's coaches and media…The team captain started every game at strong-side cornerback, ranking third on the squad with 62 tackles (46 solos), as he placed fourth on the unit with 7.5 stops for losses totaling 11 yards, the most tackles behind the line of scrimmage for any cornerback in the conference and NCAA FBS ranks…Finished fifth in the nation and tied Georgia's Bacarri Rambo for the SEC title with seven interceptions for 107 yards in returns (15.29 avg) that included a 50-yard touchdown runback…Deflected ten other tosses, as his total of 17 passes defended (1.31 pg) led the SEC and ranked 13th nationally…Ranks second in the nation among active players with fifteen career interceptions, tying Leonard Coleman (1980-83) for the Vanderbilt all-time record…The coaches also utilized Hayward's great athletic skills briefly on offense, as he carried five times for 60 yards (12.0 ypc)…In addition, he handled a 12-yard punt return and an 11-yard kickoff return…Had 82 passes targeted into his area, as he saw his opponents complete just sixteen throws (19.51%) for 114 yards, an average of 7.13 yards per pass completion, leading the nation by allowing just 1.39 yards per pass attempt…The senior rerouted/jammed receivers on 42 incomplete passes (51.22%), as four of his pass thefts were converted into scoring drives (three touchdowns, one field goal) by the Commodores…Made 45 plays vs. the ground game, limiting those ball carriers to only 106 yards (2.36 ypc), as he tallied four third-down hits with nine tackles inside the red zone, including three on goal-line snaps, in addition to posting nine total stops-for-loss (assists and solos), along with taking down four running backs at the line of scrimmage for no gain.

2010 SEASON
All-American honorable mention and All-Southeastern Conference first-team choice by The NFL Draft Report, adding second-team All-SEC honors from the league's coaches and the Associated Press…Started all 12 games, ranking fourth on the team with 71 tackles (57 solos) that included two stops for losses of three yards…Caused one fumble…
Led the league and ranked third in the nation with a school season-record 17 passes defended that included 11 breakups, topping the previous annual mark of 16 defended passes by Robert Davis in 1993…His six interceptions for 13 yards in returns ranked second in the conference and tied for sixth nationally…Those six thefts tied David Malone (1964) and D.J. Moore (in both 2007 and 2008) for fifth place on the Commodores' season-record chart…The team ranked 94th in the nation in scoring defense (31.17 ppg), but it could have been much worse, as Hayward led the SEC by delivering twelve touchdown-saving tackles on plays outside his area (eight on carries totaling 210 yards; four on receptions that netted 112 yards)…Had 87 passes targeted into his area, allowing only 31 completions (35.63%) for 230 yards, one touchdown and 11 first downs, an average of 7.42 yards per completion and 2.64 yards per pass attempt…Made 28 third-down stops and rerouted/jammed receivers on 33 throws (37.93%) vs. the aerial game…In man coverage, his main assignments caught just 14 passes for 106 yards (7.57 ypc) and a 15-yard touchdown…Posted 33 plays vs. the running attack that netted 131 yards (3.97 ypc), but only three first downs, coming up with seven third-down hits while stopping three runners at the line of scrimmage for no gain and two more for losses…Collected 17 of his tackles inside the red zone, with five coming on goal-line plays.

2009 SEASON
The recipient of the team's Most Valuable Defensive Back Award, Hayward started 10 games at strongside cornerback and the Georgia Tech and Florida contests at free safety, despite being limited in early season action while battling migraine headaches, missing the second half of the Mississippi State clash…Ranked fifth on the team with 58 tackles (40 solos)…Became the first Commodore cornerback to lead the team in tackles-for-loss, posting 8.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage for minus 21 yards while also producing one quarterback pressure…Intercepted two passes and deflected seven others…Helped the Commodores rank ninth in the nation in pass defense (164.92 ypg), as he recorded six touchdown-saving tackles (three on receptions that netted 109 yards and three more on rushing attempts that gained 65 yards)…Had 63 passes thrown into his area, with the opposition completing 22 tosses (34.92%) for 139 yards, seven first downs and no touch-downs, as he rerouted/jammed receivers on 27 incomplete throws (42.86%) and made 19 third-down stops, with one more on a fourth-down snap vs. the aerial game…In one-on-one coverage assignments, he held those receivers to ten catches for 83 yards…Produced 34 plays vs. the running attack, holding those ball carriers to 86 yards (2.53 ypc), as two of his hits came on third-down plays…Delivered eight tackles inside the red zone, including three on goal-line plays.

2008 SEASON
Hayward appeared in all 13 games as a true freshman, competing as a reserve nickel back, in addition to competing for the kickoff and punt coverage squads…Recorded eight tackles (3 solos) with three pass deflections, registering three hits for the kickoff coverage unit and another tackle while causing a fumble with the punt coverage team…Joined safety Sean Richardson and receiver John Cole as the only true freshman to see action with the Commodores…Made 10 plays vs. the aerial game, allowing just two receptions for 15 yards, as his first career stop was a touchdown-saving tackle vs. Miami (Oh.)…Also rerouted/jammed receivers away from four pass attempts, registering one third-down stop and another on fourth down vs. the opposition's passers.

INJURY REPORT
2009 Season…Bothered early in the year by migraine headaches, eventually sitting out the second half of the Mississippi State clash (9/19) while playing with the migraines throughout the Rice contest (9/26).

AGILITY TESTS
4.42 in the 40-yard dash (hand-held)…4.53 in the 40-yard dash (electronic)…1.51 10-yard dash…2.54 20-yard dash…3.93 20-yard shuttle…10.75 60-yard shuttle…6.58 three-cone drill…37-inch vertical jump…10'7" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times… 460-pound squat…30 1/8-inch arm length…8 ¾-inch hands…72 ½-inch wingspan…16 Wonderlic score.

HIGH SCHOOL
Hayward attended Perry (Ga.) High School, lettering four times in football, serving as team captain in each of his final three years for head coach Andy Scott…The four-time Leader-ship Council member competed as a quarterback, defensive back and kickoff returner, scoring 36 times while also throwing 39 touchdowns during his career, in addition to finishing with a 30.5-yard kickoff return average…As a junior, Hayward completed 49-of-135 passes (36.30%) for 841 yards and nine touchdowns while leading the squad to a 7-4 record…Also totaled 745 yards on 115 carries (6.48 ypc), finding the end zone 11 times on the ground…In 2007, he earned Panthers Most Valuable Player honors, in addition to receiving All-State, All-District and All-Region 4B/AAA first-team accolades, guiding the team to a 9-4 record…Was also chosen Wilcox County Athlete of the Year and Houston County Athlete of the Year as the Rivals.com three-star prospect guided the squad to the state Class AAA quarterfinals…That season, Hayward rushed for 1,284 yards and 18 touchdowns on 214 carries (6.0 ypc), completed 95-of-165 passes (57.58%) for 1,300 yards and 18 more scores and on defense, he recorded 30 tackles with a forced fumble, 10 pass deflections and four interceptions, returning three of those thefts for touchdowns…Also lettered for Perry High's basketball team as the starting guard for coach Brett Hardy…Led that team to an 18-9 record during his junior season…Also excelled as a sprinter and triple jumper for the track-and-field squad.

PERSONAL
Sociology major, enrolled in the College of Arts and Science…One of two sons (brother, JaCavesia of Tish and Casey Hayward, Sr…Born 9/09/89...Resides in Perry, Georgia.


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.



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\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"Vanderbilt cornerback Casey Hayward considers himself one of the top five cornerbacks in the draft and expects to be drafted in the first or second round. If the Vikings' interest in him is commonplace around the league, that projection could come true. Hayward is a considered a second- or third-round prospect by draft analysts in the media. According to an NFL source, the Vikings \"love\" Hayward, and there is good reason for that. The scouting report on Hayward is that he might not be as athletic as some of the top cornerbacks in the drafts, but he has top-notch instincts, preparations skills and work ethic. He reacts to the ball well in the air and has good hands, as his 15 interceptions will attest. In a comparison charts with some of the other top cornerbacks in the draft, Hayward was targeted 70 times as a cornerback and gave up only 13 receptions. He also ranked first in passes defensed per game, receptions given up, yards allowed and completion percentage in his area. Adding to his attraction by the Vikings is that Hayward is a solid run defender and considered good in zone coverage concepts. Here is profile of Hayward from Dave-Te' Thomas of NFL Scouting. Hayward has been the unquestioned leader of the Commodores' defensive unit since joining the starting lineup prior to his sophomore campaign. With his quick feet and hip flexibility, he has done an excellent job of not only mirroring the receivers and disrupting his opponent's route progression, but has been the \"ultimate savior\" with his big play ability. His ability to track the ball in flight, along with outstanding leaping ability, has seen him consistently win battles to get to the ball vs. much taller receivers. One of the most fearless hitters in the collegiate game, Hayward recorded 31 touchdown-saving tackles after opponents broke free from other Commodores defenders, thinking that they had great opportunities to score. Eighteen of those touchdown-saving tackles came in run force, as the first cornerback to ever lead the team in tackles-for-loss (8.5 in 2009) registered 113 stops vs. the ground game, limiting those ball carriers to just 332 yards (2.94 ypc), despite playing in the secondary. Ten of those runners were stopped at the line of scrimmage for no gain and he killed fourteen scoring drives with third-down tackles. Where Hayward excels is in keeping his opponents from the ball vs. the aerial game. He has had 242 passes targeted into his area, allowing only 71 receptions (29.34 pass completion percentage) for 498 yards and just two touchdowns, as those opponents averaged only 7.01 yards per completion and 2.06 yards per pass attempt. He rerouted and jammed his coverage assignments on 106 of those pass attempts (43.80%), as he posted 74 third-down hits and five more on fourth-down snaps. Hayward also shattered the school career-record with 46 passes defended, tied for the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision lead among active players and good for 11th on the major college all-time record chart. His 15 interceptions are tied with Leonard Coleman (1980-83) for the school career-record. Proving his ability to keep the opposition out of the end zone, he delivered 37 of his tackles inside the red zone, with 12 coming on goal-line plays. He has also provided support for the Commodores' special teams, in addition to seeing brief action on offense as a senior. Prior to his arrival at Vanderbilt, having been recruited by Charlie Fisher and signing his national letter-of-intent to attend the university on Jan. 21, 2008, Hayward was a standout performer as a quarterback, defensive back and kickoff returner for the Perry High School Panthers. The team captain started each of his last three years on offense and his final two campaigns on defense, scoring 36 times while also throwing 39 touch-downs during his career, in addition to finishing with a 30.5-yard kickoff return average. As a junior, Hayward completed 49 of 135 passes (36.30%) for 841 yards and nine touchdowns while leading head coach Andy Scott's squad to a 7-4 record. He also totaled 745 yards on 115 carries (6.48 ypc), finding the end zone 11 times on the ground. That year, he helped coach Brett Hardy's Perry High basketball team to an 18-9 record during the 2006/07 campaign. He also excelled as a sprinter and triple jumper for the track-and-field squad. In 2007, the four-time member of team's Leadership Council, earned Panthers Most Valuable Player honors, in addition to receiving All-State, All-District and All-Region 4B/AAA first-team accolades, guiding the team to a 9-4 record. He was also chosen Wilcox County Athlete of the Year and Houston County Athlete of the Year as the Rivals.com three-star prospect guided the squad to the state Class AAA quarterfinals. That season, Hayward rushed for 1,284 yards and 18 touchdowns on 214 carries (6.0 ypc). He completed 95 of 165 passes (57.58%) for 1,300 yards and 18 more scores. On defense, he recorded 30 tackles with a forced fumble, 10 pass deflections and four interceptions, returning three of those thefts for touchdowns. He again performed as the starting guard on the 2007/08 Perry High hoops squad, in addition to handling the triple jump and competing as a sprinter for the track team. As a true freshman, Hayward appeared in all 13 games at Vanderbilt, seeing most of his action on the special team coverage units, in addition to performing as a reserve nickel back later in the schedule. He recorded eight tackles (3 solos), in addition to deflecting three passes, making one touchdown-saving stop. He posted three tackles for the kickoff coverage squad and one more with the punt coverage unit, where he caused a fumble in the Mississippi clash. In 2009, Hayward took over strongside cornerback chores for ten games, shifting to free safety for two starting assignments vs. Georgia Tech and Florida. Despite missing some early season action while dealing with migraine headaches, he ranked fifth on the team with 58 tackles (40 solos) and a QB pressure, becoming the first cornerback in school history to lead the ‘Dores in tackles-for-loss (8.5 total – seven solo stops and three assisted hits). He rerouted receivers away from 27 of 63 passes targeted into his area (42.86%), as just 22 of those tosses were caught (34.92%), coming up with seven pass breakups and two interceptions, delivering 19 third-down stops and one more on a fourth-down snap vs. the aerial game. He also limited ball carriers to just 86 yards on 34 attempts (2.53 ypc), as he registered a total of six touchdown-saving tackles. As a junior, Hayward garnered All-Southeastern Conference honors, as he started all twelve games at cornerback, placing fourth on the squad with a career-high 71 tackles (57 solos) with two stops behind the line of scrimmage and a forced fumble. He made 33 hits vs. the ground game, as those runners managed only 131 yards (3.97 ypc) while the junior delivered twelve touchdown-saving tackles and had seventeen tackles inside the red zone. In the secondary, he set a school season-record with seventeen passes defended, tops in the conference and third in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision ranks. He also posted six interceptions, tied for second on the school annual record chart, making 28 third-down stops while rerouting receivers away from 33 pass attempts, allowing only 31 of 87 passes targeted into his area to be completed (35.63%), 230 yards and a score. Prior to his senior campaign, Hayward set his sights squarely on a big achievement in 2011. \"I want to lead the SEC again in pass break-ups and in interceptions, but my main goal is the Jim Thorpe Award,\" he said of the honor that goes to the nation's top defensive back. \"Working with (new cornerbacks coach Wesley) McGriff, I think I have a good chance of doing that.\" His new coach was equally confident that his \"new pupil\" would earn the highest of honors and be a coveted early round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft. \"The biggest thing NFL teams look at is confidence,\" McGriff said. \"The second-biggest thing they look at is, 'Can we invest in this young man and get a return on our investment?' How is he going to respond when he gets beat on a deep ball? Once they past that test, they look at the physical qualities. Casey possesses a lot of qualities NFL teams look for.\" In 2011, Hayward received All-American and All-SEC honors. He recorded 62 tackles (46 solos), ranking fourth on the squad with 7.5 stops-for-loss. He ranked fifth in the nation and tied for the Southeastern Conference title with seven interceptions, as his total of seventeen passes defended (1.71 pg) also led the SEC while ranking seventh overall in the FBS ranks. In pass coverage, Hayward allowed only 16 of 82 passes targeted into his area to be completed (led major college starting cornerbacks by seeing opponents complete just 19.51% of those throws). He rerouted his assignments away from 42 of those passes (51.22%), deflecting 10 throws while picking off seven others. He delivered 25 third-down hits and three fourth-down stops vs. the passing attack. He also carried five times for 60 yards (12.0 avg), in addition to returning a kick 11 yards and a punt 12 yards. Hayward appeared in 50 games for the Commodores, starting his last 37 contests, as he recorded 199 tackles (146 solos) with 18.0 stops for losses of 35 yards, a quarterback pressure and a forced fumble…Defended 46 passes, deflecting 31 tosses while coming up with 15 interceptions for 126 yards in returns (8.40 avg) and one touchdown…Saw brief action on offense as a senior, gaining 60 yards on five carries (12.0 ypc)…Added 11 yards via a kickoff return and 12 yards on a punt return…Hayward's fifteen interceptions rank second among active players in the NCAA football Bowl Subdivision ranks, topped by only Sean Baker of Ball State (18)…His 15 pass thefts also tied Leonard Coleman (1980-83) for the school career-record and rank tied for 14th in Southeastern Conference annals (most by an SEC performer since Corey Webster of Louisiana State recorded 16 thefts, from 2001-04)…His 126 yards gained via interception returns placed seventh on the school all-time record list…Hayward's became the seventh player in school history to lead the team in interceptions twice in a career (2010-11), as his seven interceptions in 2011 tied Donald Gleisner (1952) and Ed Oaks (1975) for third on the Vanderbilt season-record list, topped by only Scott Wingfield (eight in 1973) and Leonard Coleman (eight in 1982)… His six interceptions in 2010 tied him with David Malone (1964) and D.J. Moore (in both 2007 and 2008) for sixth place on the Commodores' season-record chart…His five pass thefts in 2011 tied him with Donald Gleisner (1951), Russ Morris (1959), Neal Smith (1968), Christie Hauck (1969), Ken Stone (1971), Jay Chesley (1974), Manuel Young (1984), Chris Donnelly (1989) and Myron Lewis (2008) for 10th place on the school annual record list… His 46 passes defended topped the previous Vanderbilt career-record of 36 by Robert Davis (1990-93), and are tied with Josh Robinson of Central Florida (36 pass break-ups, 10 interceptions) for the most among the Football Bowl Subdivision's active players, as that total also tied Christian Morton of Illinois (41 break-ups, five thefts; 2000-03) and Perrish Cox of Oklahoma State (36 break-ups, ten interceptions; 2006-09) for 11th place on the NCAA FBS career-record list…His 17 passes defended in 2010 set the school season-record, surpassing the old mark of 16 by Robert Davis in 1993, as the senior would match that record again in 2011…Hayward's six pass deflections vs. Arkansas in 2011 set a school game-record and was two shy of the NCAA game mark of eight pass break-ups by Joselio Hanson of Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State in 2002…His six pass deflections were the most by an SEC player in a game since Corey Webster of Louisiana State broke up five throws vs. Georgia in 2003…Hayward became the first defensive back to lead the team in tackles-for-loss in a season (8.5 in 2009), which are also the most by a Southeastern Conference in a season…The cornerback had 242 passes targeted by the opposition into his area, as 71 were completed (29.34%) for 498 yards and two touch-downs, an average of 7.01 yards per completion and 2.06 yards per pass attempt…Posted 74 third-down stops and five fourth-down hits while making nineteen touchdown-saving tackles and eight stops behind the line of scrimmage vs. the aerial game…Collected 113 hits vs. the rushing attack, limiting those ball carriers to 332 yards (2.94 ypc) and no touchdowns, coming up with eleven stops-for-loss, ten tackles at the line of scrimmage for no gain, and fourteen third-down hits…Made 37 tackles inside the red zone, including twelve on goal-line plays. Hayward was named to The NFL Draft Report's All-American Super Sleeper Team, in addition to being selected All-Southeastern Conference first-team by that scouting information service… Earned All-American second-team honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation…Member of the Nagurski Award Watch List, an honor given annually to college football's top defensive player…Semi-finalist for Jim Thorpe Award honors, given to the nation's top defensive back…NFLDraftScout.com rated Hayward as the top \"rising star\" among 2012 NFL Draft-eligible cornerbacks…Also received All-SEC second-team accolades from the conference's coaches and media…The team captain started every game at strong-side cornerback, ranking third on the squad with 62 tackles (46 solos), as he placed fourth on the unit with 7.5 stops for losses totaling 11 yards, the most tackles behind the line of scrimmage for any cornerback in the conference and NCAA FBS ranks…Finished fifth in the nation and tied Georgia's Bacarri Rambo for the SEC title with seven interceptions for 107 yards in returns (15.29 avg) that included a 50-yard touchdown runback…Deflected ten other tosses, as his total of 17 passes defended (1.31 pg) led the SEC and ranked 13th nationally…Ranks second in the nation among active players with fifteen career interceptions, tying Leonard Coleman (1980-83) for the Vanderbilt all-time record…The coaches also utilized Hayward's great athletic skills briefly on offense, as he carried five times for 60 yards (12.0 ypc)…In addition, he handled a 12-yard punt return and an 11-yard kickoff return…Had 82 passes targeted into his area, as he saw his opponents complete just sixteen throws (19.51%) for 114 yards, an average of 7.13 yards per pass completion, leading the nation by allowing just 1.39 yards per pass attempt…The senior rerouted/jammed receivers on 42 incomplete passes (51.22%), as four of his pass thefts were converted into scoring drives (three touchdowns, one field goal) by the Commodores…Made 45 plays vs. the ground game, limiting those ball carriers to only 106 yards (2.36 ypc), as he tallied four third-down hits with nine tackles inside the red zone, including three on goal-line snaps, in addition to posting nine total stops-for-loss (assists and solos), along with taking down four running backs at the line of scrimmage for no gain. All-American honorable mention and All-Southeastern Conference first-team choice by The NFL Draft Report, adding second-team All-SEC honors from the league's coaches and the Associated Press…Started all 12 games, ranking fourth on the team with 71 tackles (57 solos) that included two stops for losses of three yards…Caused one fumble… Led the league and ranked third in the nation with a school season-record 17 passes defended that included 11 breakups, topping the previous annual mark of 16 defended passes by Robert Davis in 1993…His six interceptions for 13 yards in returns ranked second in the conference and tied for sixth nationally…Those six thefts tied David Malone (1964) and D.J. Moore (in both 2007 and 2008) for fifth place on the Commodores' season-record chart…The team ranked 94th in the nation in scoring defense (31.17 ppg), but it could have been much worse, as Hayward led the SEC by delivering twelve touchdown-saving tackles on plays outside his area (eight on carries totaling 210 yards; four on receptions that netted 112 yards)…Had 87 passes targeted into his area, allowing only 31 completions (35.63%) for 230 yards, one touchdown and 11 first downs, an average of 7.42 yards per completion and 2.64 yards per pass attempt…Made 28 third-down stops and rerouted/jammed receivers on 33 throws (37.93%) vs. the aerial game…In man coverage, his main assignments caught just 14 passes for 106 yards (7.57 ypc) and a 15-yard touchdown…Posted 33 plays vs. the running attack that netted 131 yards (3.97 ypc), but only three first downs, coming up with seven third-down hits while stopping three runners at the line of scrimmage for no gain and two more for losses…Collected 17 of his tackles inside the red zone, with five coming on goal-line plays. The recipient of the team's Most Valuable Defensive Back Award, Hayward started 10 games at strongside cornerback and the Georgia Tech and Florida contests at free safety, despite being limited in early season action while battling migraine headaches, missing the second half of the Mississippi State clash…Ranked fifth on the team with 58 tackles (40 solos)…Became the first Commodore cornerback to lead the team in tackles-for-loss, posting 8.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage for minus 21 yards while also producing one quarterback pressure…Intercepted two passes and deflected seven others…Helped the Commodores rank ninth in the nation in pass defense (164.92 ypg), as he recorded six touchdown-saving tackles (three on receptions that netted 109 yards and three more on rushing attempts that gained 65 yards)…Had 63 passes thrown into his area, with the opposition completing 22 tosses (34.92%) for 139 yards, seven first downs and no touch-downs, as he rerouted/jammed receivers on 27 incomplete throws (42.86%) and made 19 third-down stops, with one more on a fourth-down snap vs. the aerial game…In one-on-one coverage assignments, he held those receivers to ten catches for 83 yards…Produced 34 plays vs. the running attack, holding those ball carriers to 86 yards (2.53 ypc), as two of his hits came on third-down plays…Delivered eight tackles inside the red zone, including three on goal-line plays. Hayward appeared in all 13 games as a true freshman, competing as a reserve nickel back, in addition to competing for the kickoff and punt coverage squads…Recorded eight tackles (3 solos) with three pass deflections, registering three hits for the kickoff coverage unit and another tackle while causing a fumble with the punt coverage team…Joined safety Sean Richardson and receiver John Cole as the only true freshman to see action with the Commodores…Made 10 plays vs. the aerial game, allowing just two receptions for 15 yards, as his first career stop was a touchdown-saving tackle vs. Miami (Oh.)…Also rerouted/jammed receivers away from four pass attempts, registering one third-down stop and another on fourth down vs. the opposition's passers. 2009 Season…Bothered early in the year by migraine headaches, eventually sitting out the second half of the Mississippi State clash (9/19) while playing with the migraines throughout the Rice contest (9/26). 4.42 in the 40-yard dash (hand-held)…4.53 in the 40-yard dash (electronic)…1.51 10-yard dash…2.54 20-yard dash…3.93 20-yard shuttle…10.75 60-yard shuttle…6.58 three-cone drill…37-inch vertical jump…10'7\" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times… 460-pound squat…30 1/8-inch arm length…8 ¾-inch hands…72 ½-inch wingspan…16 Wonderlic score. Hayward attended Perry (Ga.) High School, lettering four times in football, serving as team captain in each of his final three years for head coach Andy Scott…The four-time Leader-ship Council member competed as a quarterback, defensive back and kickoff returner, scoring 36 times while also throwing 39 touchdowns during his career, in addition to finishing with a 30.5-yard kickoff return average…As a junior, Hayward completed 49-of-135 passes (36.30%) for 841 yards and nine touchdowns while leading the squad to a 7-4 record…Also totaled 745 yards on 115 carries (6.48 ypc), finding the end zone 11 times on the ground…In 2007, he earned Panthers Most Valuable Player honors, in addition to receiving All-State, All-District and All-Region 4B/AAA first-team accolades, guiding the team to a 9-4 record…Was also chosen Wilcox County Athlete of the Year and Houston County Athlete of the Year as the Rivals.com three-star prospect guided the squad to the state Class AAA quarterfinals…That season, Hayward rushed for 1,284 yards and 18 touchdowns on 214 carries (6.0 ypc), completed 95-of-165 passes (57.58%) for 1,300 yards and 18 more scores and on defense, he recorded 30 tackles with a forced fumble, 10 pass deflections and four interceptions, returning three of those thefts for touchdowns…Also lettered for Perry High's basketball team as the starting guard for coach Brett Hardy…Led that team to an 18-9 record during his junior season…Also excelled as a sprinter and triple jumper for the track-and-field squad. Sociology major, enrolled in the College of Arts and Science…One of two sons (brother, JaCavesia of Tish and Casey Hayward, Sr…Born 9/09/89...Resides in Perry, Georgia. 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