PREPS

Dallan Hayden has a second Mr. Football award, now ready to go to Ohio State

Joseph Spears
Memphis Commercial Appeal

NASHVILLE – Dallan Hayden has received quite a bit of ribbing over the past couple weeks since Michigan defeated Ohio State for the first time in eight meetings.

Hayden, a Christian Brothers running back and Ohio State commitment, has heard a lot from some of his friends, who are also Michigan commitments.

That includes Ravenwood cornerback Myles Pollard, a Michigan commitment and friend.

"I just can't wait to play them," Hayden said. "That (42-27) result really did shock me and I think it shocked everyone honestly. I'm very excited to go up there and go against them.

"A lot of their commitments are my guys, but it's a rivalry and I can't wait to be a part of it."

On Tuesday, Hayden was named the Tennessee Titans Division II-AAA Mr. Football winner — an award he's received the past two years.

"This is just surreal," Hayden said. "I was very happy to win this one. Last year I was happy but I wanted to do it again because I knew that it was my last opportunity to do it.

"It just feels good to do it again especially with how loaded this group of finalists was."

Hayden won this year's award over a pair of quarterbacks — McCallie's William Riddle and Pope John Paul II's Kenny Minchey.

Hayden ran for 2,002 yards on 256 carries with 33 total touchdowns in 2021. Over the past two years, he's ran for 4,012 yards and scored 57 touchdowns the past two years for the Purple Wave.

Hayden, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound running back, is the No. 9 prospect in Tennessee for the Class of 2022 according to the 247Sports Composite. He's the No. 24 running back in the country.

While he never won a state championship at Christian Brothers — the program reached the Division II-AAA semifinals this season — Hayden said he is excited for the next chapter of his life playing in Columbus at Ohio State and trying to establish himself as the next great Buckeyes running back.

Christian Brothers's Dallan Hayden poses with his Class AAA Mr. Football award in the interview room at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021.

"I'm very excited because I feel like they have a good plan for me," Hayden said. "If I do what I'm supposed to, I should be successful up there. History shows that they obviously know what they're doing when it comes to running backs so I feel very good about it.

"I wanted to go to place that is successful academically and in football but that would also develop me at the running back position. Out of all the schools I looked at, they were the best possible fit for me when I weighed all of those factors."

Reach Joe Spears at jspears2@gannett.com or 731-343-4923. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @joe_spears