Ohio State '22 TN RB (RS SO) - Dallan Hayden

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    EFFECTS OF PRUITT FIRING
    When we spoke with Ohio State priority 2022 running back Dallan Hayden, the four-star Memphis prospect said that Tennessee was not necessarily his favorite despite his family’s history with the program.

    He is a Volunteers legacy with his father having played there as a running back in the 90s and his mother having been a cheerleader there. But still, Hayden stopped short of calling Tennessee the favorite in a recruitment that has been whittled down to the Vols and three other schools (Ohio State, Notre Dame, Oregon) in his top four.

    Tennessee, however, is still probably the No. 1 opponent for the Buckeyes in Hayden’s recruitment because of that legacy. But when the Vols fired Jeremy Pruitt this week, that opened the possibility for the Buckeyes to take the lead in his recruitment even further.

    One of Pruitt’s pitches to Hayden has been that he wanted to keep the top in-state players from Tennessee within the state boundaries. This feels like the only recruitment in the 2022 class where Tennessee is a real threat to Ohio State, so it’s the key one to keep an eye on as Tennessee’s coaching situation unfolds.

    LEARNING FROM DAD
    Speaking of Hayden, as one final note from our interview with him, we asked how his dad has helped along both on the field and in the recruiting process.

    Hayden said his father is “always telling me to get to my linemen’s feet, find the hole and then get to the end zone. He just makes sure to tell me to trust my instincts. And he just always tells me to enjoy the (recruiting) process because you only get this once. Don’t let it stress you out or anything, just make the decision that’s best for you.”
     
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    DALLAN HAYDEN • 2022 RUNNING BACK • MEMPHIS, TENN. • ★★★★
    There are three running backs that we're really watching for the Class of 2022, and I get the feeling Tennessee's Dallan Hayden may be fairly close to a decision. It would appear that Ohio State and Notre Dame are out in front thanks in part to the disastrous recent events in Knoxville.

    Hayden reportedly wants to take some visits prior to announcing a decision before his senior season, but Tony Alford may try to lock up at least one back here in the coming months. The lack of visits makes this one a bit challenging, but Ohio State may very well be the leader in the clubhouse right now. We'll see what sort of coaching moves the Vols make and whether or not Notre Dame or Oregon can make things interesting.

     
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    PENN STATE ENTERS HAYDEN RACE
    Tennessee legacy Dallan Hayden hails from Memphis and has a family history with the Volunteers after his dad played as a running back there a couple decades ago. You can check out our previous interview with Hayden here.

    The four-star running back, who received a ratings bump into fringe top-200 overall range and No. 22 at his position, already has a top four of Ohio State, Tennessee, Oregon and Notre Dame. However, Notre Dame picked up a running back commitment from Jadarian Price recently, and now Penn State has entered the Hayden sweepstakes with an offer.

    This could be a significant offer either in the fact that Penn State now believes it is slipping with in-state running back Nicholas Singleton of Governor Mifflin (Pennsylvania) or perhaps it is trying to give Singleton a bit of a push in the Nittany Lions' direction.

    Singleton is one of Tony Alford's top-three targets at running back in the 2022 cycle, right up there with Hayden and Georgia's Damari Alston. Singleton thus far is the only one of those three who has visited Ohio State.

    Alston and Hayden have both told Eleven Warriors that they are looking to make a trip to Columbus as soon as they can, and if it weren't for the extension of the dead period through May 31, those visits may have already happened.
     
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