On Thursday night, Collierville, Tennessee’s Chase Hayden announced that he would be making the decision on where he’ll be playing college football on Sunday night. Hayden, a three-star running back via 247Sports Composite Rankings and a four-star running back using their service, appeared to also trim his list down to three possibilities: Arkansas, Oklahoma State, and Missouri.
Hayden had many a school pursuing him including his home-state Tennessee Volunteers. The Vols have enjoyed a bevy of success of late including two commitments on Thursday from CJ Cotman and Jordan Murphy, two three-star 2017 prospects, but landed on the outside looking in for the 5-foot-10, 189-pound all-purpose running back who finds himself in the Top 5 at his position and Top 10 in the Volunteer State.
At this juncture, there appears to be a feeling that Hayden will be heading to Fayetteville. 247Sports’ Crystal Ball predictions has 67 percent of the 15 predictions cast leaning to the Hogs who of course have had their fair share of great running backs over the years. Those of which include Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams who were selected in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills respectively.
When looking at the list of predictions made, it’s easy to see why the trend seems to be leaning towards Bret Bielema’s bunch. The last 10 predictions dating back to June 3 have all been for Arkansas including one made by Mississippi State insider Paul Jones of Bulldawgs247 which came on Thursday night just after Hayden announced his intentions to decide Sunday night.
If we are to base our decisions and judgments on 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions, Mizzou and Oklahoma State appear to be outside shots to grab Hayden’s services come Sunday. Stranger things have of course happened in the recruiting realm and both would be pretty solid fits for him.
The Tigers’ scholarship chart would indicate that by 2017 there could be a need with Alex Ross departing due to graduation. Although they will have Ish Witter and Natetreace Strong aboard as well as youngsters Trevon Walters and Ryan Williams, having a stable of backs is nothing new in Columbia and head coach Barry Odom adding a player of Hayden’s caliber would follow in line with philosophies that the Tigers and their offense have had over the years.
Additionally, there's a connection in the works as our friend Oscar Gambler from Rock M Nation told me late Thursday night:
@ChrisNovakBECB ah - his dad played with new DL coach Jackie Shipp which is how they connected. Mizzou only loses 1 so could take 1-2 RBs— ᴏsᴄᴀʀ ɢᴀᴍʙʟᴇ (@OscarGambler) July 22, 2016
Considering that the top two spots in the depth chart for the Cowboys are held by two seniors - Chris Carson and Barry Sanders Jr. per Ourlads - as well as the likes of senior Rennie Childs, adding Hayden would give them some more youth which they are likely to already be dealing with with three backs on the roster as sophomores or younger currently on the roster.
Now that Hayden's announced his intentions, all that we can do now is wait. Stay tuned, folks.