On January 20, Bret Bielema offered four-star running back Dallan Hayden from Memphis (Tenn.) Christian Brothers.
Dallan Hayden was recently named 2020 MaxPreps Tennessee High School Football Player of the Year. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound junior running back ran for 2,010 yards and 24 touchdowns in just nine games this fall, helping the Purple Wave go 7-4.
IlliniPulse spoke to Hayden about his new Big Ten offer, and he updates the list of schools showing him the most attention so far.
Dallan Hayden on Illinois offer: “Feel good I’ve known Coach B for a min.” Bielema snagged running back Chase Hayden, his brother, when he was with Arkansas. He has now landed Chase again, as he transferred into the Illinois program.
We also spoke about his relationship with Coach Bielema. Dallan said, “Pretty good. He’s a great coach and a great man.” Bielema has a strong connection with the Hayden family. This makes Illinois a wildcard in the recruitment of Dallan. We discussed his thoughts about Illinois. Dallan said, “Think they are going to do well and build something good.”
College programs like Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Norte Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee and Texas A&M have already extended offers. He told me this are the schools that are heavily involved for him and they consists of: Ohio State, Norte Dame, Illinois, Oregon, Florida, TCU, and Utah. We discussed Illinois’ pitch for him to come to Illinois. He told me: “Just the offense and seeing what they can do.”
The Illini pride themselves on running the ball, and with Hayden’s speedy rushing attack, the offense would get an instant offensive upgrade. In 2020, Illinois struggled to finish drives, and under Bret Bielema’s regime, that hopes to be resolved. Landing Hayden would remedy the situation and give the Orange and Blue an instant boost.