Dallan Hayden enjoys his second summer visit to Rocky Top
For the second consecutive month, Memphis athlete Dallan Hayden was back on Tennessee's campus. In June, the 2022 prospect took in UT's camp, working out for the Vol staff. This past weekend, Hayden relaxed as a part of the pool party hosted by Jeremy Pruitt & Co.
"The visits have been good," Hayden said. "Last month I got to work out and hang out with the staff. I was able to get a good feel for them. This weekend was much the same. I got a really better feel and stuff."
Specifically, he got a great feel for defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley. Those two hit it off at camp and Ansley has made sure to show Hayden how much he already wants him, even though he will just be a sophomore this fall.
"Coach Ansley seems like a real guy and is straight to the point," Hayden said. "He has put plenty of guys in the NFL like Minkah Fitzpatrick and Eddie Jackson. He just seems like he is family."
And the feeling of coming up to Knoxville as more than just a child who dreamed of playing in orange is something that Hayden doesn't take for granted. He's enjoying the process.
"Five years ago, I was just a kid who was a fan," Hayden said. "It's pretty cool being recruited by Tennessee now. I'm enjoying it."
For the better part of his youth football career, the son of former Vol Aaron Hayden was know for his abilities on offense. Last year as a freshman at Christian Brothers, he started and played mainly on defense at cornerback. It's something he had to adjust to, but admits the offensive love is still burning.
"I really like DB, but I like offense," Hayden said. "I'll play whatever the school wants me to play."
This fall, Hayden will play both ways where he is most definitely going to see plenty of action. He is unlikely to come off the field very much.
"They like me on the defensive side of the ball, but Coach Pruitt told me that I might get a look on offense because he likes versatile players," Hayden said.
Hayden has been offered by Missouri, Vanderbilt, Arkansas and Georgia over the last several months. He is assured to get more interest this fall as he finds more playing time on offense for Christian Brothers.
"I'm looking for a diverse staff where I can be me," Hayden said. "Not just Chase's brother or Aaron Hayden's son. A place that I can make a difference both on and off the field."