Honors candidate after turning in a record-setting season in 2016... selected as a team captain in 2016, becoming the first sophomore in school history to be a permanent team captain... has 56 career receptions for 722 yards with one score in 25 games, including 14 starts... a former professional baseball player who came to South Carolina as a walk-on.
2016: Sophomore tight end... named one of four permanent team captains... set Carolina’s single-season record for catches by a tight end with 48... the previous mark was 38, set by Doug Hamrick in 1970... was the first Carolina tight end to catch 30 passes since 2009... also broke Danny Smith’s school record for receiving yards by a tight end (576 in 1987) with 616... ranked among the nation’s top dozen tight ends in both receptions and yards receiving... had at least five receptions in five games and at least 80 receiving yards in four contests... logged a career-best eight catches for 68 yards against Mississippi State... caught two passes for 43 yards in the East Carolina win... came up with a season-high 36-yard reception to set up South Carolina’s crucial field goal in the 4th quarter against the Pirates... led all players with seven catches for 84 yards at Kentucky, including a 30-yard reception to set up Carolina’s touchdown... caught five passes for a career-high 90 yards against Texas A&M... also threw one pass on a trick play against the Aggies, finding A.J. Turner for a nine-yard reception... led all players with six catches for 86 yards in the Georgia game... also served as the Gamecocks’ punt returner against Georgia, becoming the biggest punt returner in Division I football in recent memory... caught three passes for a team-high 63 yards at Florida, including a career-long 47-yarder, when he matched a Carolina single-season record for tight ends... caught one pass for 15 yards and completed one pass on a trick play, which went for 12 yards, in the Western Carolina victory... caught three passes for 26 yards and carried the ball twice for nine yards at Clemson... hauled in six passes for 86 yards in the Birmingham Bowl against USF, including his first career points... scored on a 25-yard touchdown reception for Carolina’s first points of the contest and on a two-point conversion to tie the game late in regulation... shared the Strength & Conditioning Award with Cory Helms as selected by the coaches... shared the Tenacity Award for the offense with Zack Bailey as selected by the players... nominated for the Burlsworth Trophy... named to the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll... put on scholarship in the spring.
2015: Walk-on who joined the football team in the summer... played in all 12 games, making one start... caught eight passes for 106 yards... played at tight end and on special teams early in the season... moved to wide receiver after the UCF game... caught his first pass, a nine-yard reception, at LSU... hauled in a career-long 47-yard reception at Texas A&M... had a pair of receptions at Tennessee for 29 yards... made his first career start and responded with a pair of catches for 12 yards against Florida... had a pair of catches for nine yards versus The Citadel.
HIGH SCHOOL: Graduated from The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla. in 2012... played football but was also a standout on the baseball diamond... selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 17th round of the 2012 baseball draft... helped the Bulldogs to a pair of state baseball titles... was a Florida All-Region first-team selection and a 2012 Rawlings second-team All-American as a righthanded pitcher with a fastball in the low 90s... pitched in the 2011 Under Armour All-America Baseball Game... turned down a baseball scholarship to attend Florida State to sign with the Pirates.
PERSONAL: Hayden Randle Hurst was born August 24, 1993... played for two seasons in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in the rookie Gulf Coast League, as a pitcher in 2013 and as a first baseman in 2014... underwent Tommy John surgery as an eighth grader.