Last Saturday Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt set a school record for single season receiving touchdowns in just eight games.
The junior out of Irmo, South Carolina has emerged as an unlikely hero for the Volunteers offense during the absence of Cedric Tillman. He’s also been flying up draft boards.
As of just a year ago the Tennessee receiver wasn’t trusted to be a focal point by the coaching staff. But after putting in the work and showing much improvement he is breaking out as a potential longshot Heisman candidate.
The year that Hyatt is having is deserving of more attention. Comparing it to Heisman winner DeVonta Smith makes it even more impressive. Through seven games in his Heisman winning season the Alabama receiver had 65 receptions for 903 yards and 10 touchdowns. During Jalin Hyatt’s seven game stretch he has 13 touchdowns with 879 yards and 43 receptions. Putting the two side by side really puts it into perspective just how dominant Hyatt has been for Tennessee.
Hyatt is deserving of Heisman chatter as he is just three touchdowns away from reaching that same number that DeVonta Smith reached in his award winning season. With four games remaining, the Volunteer receiver could very well reach this and possibly surpass that number. And with a key matchup against the defending champs, he is in for another opportunity to add to his resume. This will be the receivers toughest matchup to date as he will likely be up against the defensive back, Kelee Ringo.
Hyatt is not one to back down from a challenge though as just weeks ago he torched Alabama’s defense for 207 yards and five touchdowns. Not to mention he did all of that on just six receptions, averaging a staggering 34.5 yards per reception.
How does Hyatt find his success?
Hyatt has been the most dominant receiver in college football. One thing that sets him apart from other receivers is his blazing speed with an official 4.31 40-time. Mix that with sheer athleticism and it is a recipe for disaster for opposing defenses. The Volunteer receiver has used his speed to explode off the line on vertical routes. Defenders often have to bail out and try to run with him man to man, it never works out well for them. Hyatt is a football player who just so happens to run the speeds of a track star.
His ability to track the deep ball is possibly the best part about his game. Include his insane catch radius thanks to his long arms and it makes him out to be a match made in heaven for quarterbacks. If Georgia is looking to stay on top after Saturday they better look to double team Hyatt as that just might be the only possible answer currently.
Is it possible that Tennessee just might have two Heisman candidates on their team? Personally I think so as Hendon Hooker and Jalin Hyatt have been electric all season. Tennessee is currently 8-0 and is looking to take down #1 Georgia this Saturday.
All eyes should be on Jalin Hyatt as his historic season continues to unfold in front of us.
By Will Lane – @TheWillieLane