Tony Alford gets his guy once again.
After landing a pair of elite running backs in 2021, Tony Alford had really zeroed in on one prospect for the 2022 recruiting class. The Buckeyes got some big-time news today when that player – four-star Memphis tailback Dallan Hayden – announced his commitment to Ohio State on his birthday.
At 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds, Hayden holds offers from coast to coast including programs like Georgia, Oregon, Tennessee, and Penn State. His father, Aaron, played for the Volunteers before suiting up as an NFL running back for four seasons. Despite his legacy status, the last several months have really seen the recruitment turn into an Ohio State vs. Notre Dame battle.
The Hayden File
- Class: 2022
- Size: 5-foot-11/195 lbs.
- Pos: RB
- School: Christian Brothers (Memphis, Tenn.)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: 237 (24 RB)
Hayden made unofficial trips to both programs during the dead period and returned for official visits this month. He arrived at Notre Dame on June 11 and headed to Columbus this past weekend for the highly anticipated meeting with the Ohio State coaching staff. The visit was enough to seal the deal as Alford has now landed his top target at the position.
For a while, the recruiting focus was on Hayden and four-star Pennsylvania running back Nicholas Singleton. It's been an interesting saga as Ohio State, Penn State, and Notre Dame have all been involved in both recruitments at one point or another. But it was Hayden who emerged as the top guy on the Buckeye board. His Christian Brothers program runs a read-option offense that should prepare him for what's to come at the next level.
|NAME||POSITION||OVERALL RANKING||POSITION RANKING||DATE OF COMMITMENT|
|JYAIRE BROWN||CB||121||13||APRIL 22, 2020|
|TEGRA TSHABOLA||OT||186||19||APRIL 23, 2020|
|C.J. HICKS||LB||18||2||MAY 1, 2020|
|GABE POWERS||LB||38||3||AUGUST 1, 2020|
|BENNETT CHRISTIAN||TE||348||14||SEPTEMBER 1, 2020|
|BENJI GOSNELL||TE||321||13||NOVEMBER 4, 2020|
|QUINN EWERS||QB||1||1||NOVEMBER 19, 2020|
|CALEB BURTON||WR||33||3||NOVEMBER 23, 2020|
|JAHEIM SINGLETARY||CB||13||5||JANUARY 2, 2021|
|KYION GRAYES||WR||152||21||FEBRUARY 28, 2021|
|KYE STOKES||S||586||49 (ATH)||MAY 2, 2021|
|RYAN TURNER||CB||373||35||MAY 5, 2021|
|KALEB BROWN||WR||60||5||JUNE 7, 2021|
|DALLAN HAYDEN||RB||237||24||JUNE 22, 2021|
Hayden took home Tennessee's Mr. Football honors for his efforts in 2020. In his first full season of playing running back (nine games), he rushed for over 2,000 yards and 24 touchdowns while averaging nearly nine yards per carry. On Oct. 23 against Conway (Arkansas), he had 41 carries for 326 yards and four touchdowns. He rushed for over 200 yards in seven of the team's nine games.
Hayden is commitment No. 14 for Ryan Day's top-ranked recruiting class. As of now, the plan appears to be to take just one running back before likely adding another pair in the 2023 class. He'll join a room that includes Miyan Williams, TreVeyon Henderson and Evan Pryor, among others.