All-America cornerback will participate in 63rd annual Senior Bowl on Jan. 28
Jan. 9, 2012
MOBILE, Ala. - Vanderbilt All-America cornerback Casey Hayward has been invited to play in the 63rd annual Senior Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 28.
Hayward, coming off a tremendous effort in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, will become the first Commodore to participate in the Senior Bowl since offensive tackle Thomas Welch played in 2010.
"Casey is very deserving of this Senior Bowl invitation," Vanderbilt Coach James Franklin said. "He finished off a remarkable Vanderbilt career with a tremendous senior season. Casey made a ton of big plays this year, and also provided excellent leadership for our defense. And as good of a player as Casey is, he's a better person and a great example of everything Vanderbilt football is all about."
"Casey is an outstanding player who proved to be one of the premier defensive backs in the SEC this season," Senior Bowl President and CEO Steve Hale said. "We look forward to watching him compete alongside the nation's best here later this month."
The Senior Bowl will be held at Ladd-Peeples Stadium in Mobile, Ala., with kickoff at 3:30 p.m. The NFL Network will provide television coverage. Tickets are available, ranging from $18-24.
The Senior Bowl is a premier showcase for leading NFL Draft prospects. Senior Bowl Week gives NFL coaches and scouts a chance to closely watch the nation's top senior collegiate football players. Many seniors, including former Commodore quarterback Jay Cutler in 2006 and offensive tackle Chris Williams in 2008, have improved their draft status by impressive performances during the week.
Hayward, a three-year starter from Perry, Ga., looks to enhance his solid draft status in Mobile.
Hayward is coming off one of the most productive careers ever by a Vanderbilt defensive back. Hayward completed his collegiate career as the team's co-record holder with 15 interceptions. Hayward shares the record with Leonard Coleman, who played in the 1983 Senior Bowl after an All-America campaign in 1982.
Hayward earned All-America honors as a senior. He became the first Commodore All-America since D.J. Moore in 2008 by earning second team recognition by the Walter Camp Foundation, Rivals.com and Yahoo! Sports. He also was named third team All-America by Phil Steele's publications.
Hayward is a two-time All-Southeastern Conference recipient. He was named second team All-SEC as a senior by both the league head coaches and sportswriters.
As a senior co-captain, Hayward put together a sensational year, contributing a career-high seven interceptions and 17 passes defended. He also added 46 solo tackles. In his final game as a Commodore, Hayward tied a career high with two interceptions against Cincinnati in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Early in the 2011 campaign, Hayward produced one of the pivotal plays in Vanderbilt's 6-6 regular season - a 50-yard interception return for a score that helped the 'Dores to a comeback win over Connecticut.
The SEC's active leader in career interceptions, Hayward also finished his career with 46 defensed passes, 148 solo tackles and three forced fumbles.
Hayward will become the 41st former Vanderbilt standout to participate in the Senior Bowl. A full list of former participants follows: 2010 Thomas Welch, offensive tackle 2008 Chris Williams, offensive tackle 2006 Jay Cutler, quarterback 2005 Justin Geisinger, offensive guard 1997 Jamie Duncan, linebacker 1997 Corey Chavous, defensive back 1994 Gerald Collins, linebacker 1991 Corey Harris, running back 1989 Steve Law, defensive back 1985 Will Wolford, offensive guard 1984 Ricky Anderson, punter 1984 Rob Monaco, offensive tackle 1983 Leonard Coleman, defensive back 1982 Jim Arnold, punter 1981 Ken Hammond, offensive guard 1979 Preston Brown, wide receiver 1978 Martin Cox, wide receiver 1975 Jay Chesley, defensive back 1973 Doug Nettles, defensive back 1970 Bob Asher, offensive tackle 1969 Chip Healy, linebacker 1968 Bob Goodridge, wide receiver 1960 Ben Donnell, center 1960 Tom Moore, running back 1959 George Deiderich, offensive guard 1958 Phil King, running back 1956 Tommy Harkins, end 1955 Bobby Goodall, guard 1953 Bob Hines, end 1953 Ben Roderick, end 1953 Mickey Lakes, back 1952 Ted Kirkland, end 1952 Bill Wade, quarterback 1952 Bob Werckle, tackle 1951 Bucky Curtis, end 1951 Russ Faulkinberry, tackle 1950 Van Brown, guard 1950 Carl Copp, tackle 1950 Herb Rich, running back 1950 Jamie Wade, quarterback