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Hayden Hurst: The best tight end in the SEC

It’s not much of a hot take... Hayden Hurst is a match up nightmare for SEC defenses

South Carolina Hayden Hurst Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Welcome to The Final Cockdown’s Tight Ends week! We go down the depth chart and take a look at a particularly deep position group for SC this season. Here’s a list of who you can expect to read about in the coming days:

Hayden Hurst | KC Crosby | Keil Pollard | Jacob August | Evan Hinson | Kyle Markaway | Will Register

#81 Hayden Hurst

Junior / 6’5’’ / 253 / Jacksonville, Fla. / The Bolles School

Coming out of high school football wasn’t supposed to be in Hayden Hurst’s future. In 2012 he turned down a baseball scholarship at Florida State and headed straight to Branden, Fla. to join the GCL Pirates as a 17th round pick in the MLB Draft.

However after a few years toiling in Pittsburgh’s farm system, Hurst decided to hang up his cleats and enroll at the University of South Carolina. He would earn a spot on the 2015 team as a walk-on where he’d make a few splash plays during a woeful offensive season.

But as 2016 rolled along Hurst slowly developed into a dangerous weapon for Jake Bentley and started to find his way in Kurt Ropers’ offense. Now in his junior season Hurst looks primed for a breakout season and possibly skip his senior season for a career in the NFL at 23 years old.

2016 stats: 48 catches, 616 yards, TD

Recruitment: 113th ranked baseball prospect out of HS; Had offers from North Carolina, Miami and Florida State. Signed with FSU on Nov. 9, 2011.

Selected highlight: Everything that Hurst does well can be found in this one score against South Florida:

Up next: KC Crosby, a sneaky red zone threat who can be used a number of way by Kurt Roper