Commitment Date: May 20, 2012
Hometown: Salisbury, MD
High School: Wicomico High School
Weight: 200 lbs.
ESPN Rank: #75 OLB, 3-star
Scout.com Rank: #53 DE, 3-star
Rivals Rank: Ranking N/A, 2-star OLB
247Sports Rank: #46 OLB, 3-star
40 time: N/A
Other Offers: Boston College, Navy, Rutgers.
Derrick Hayward was the Terps’ third recruit for the 2013 season. He is a combination defensive end/outside linebacker who will most likely play linebacker in Maryland Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart’s 3-4 defensive scheme. Most experts rank him as a 3-star prospect, and will have a chance to contribute to the Terps’ defense later in his career.
Hayward bulked up a lot in his sophomore year. He came into that year at 170 lbs. and weighed in at 190 lbs. by the end of the year. If that doesn’t speak wonders about his incredible work ethic, I don’t know what does. Hayward is a guy that projects to be one of those guys that never stops fighting. He may not be the smartest, strongest, or fastest player on the field, but he’s going to be one of the toughest, both mentally and physically.
Hayward was highly coveted by quite a few schools. Boston College, Rutgers, and Navy were among the teams to offer him a scholarship. Duke, Georgia Tech, and Michigan State also recruited Hayward but ultimately didn’t offer him a scholarship. Hayward said he chose Maryland (who was the first school to offer him a scholarship) because he felt at home there and with the coaches. He was recruited by tight ends coach John Dunn. Hayward also played tight end in high school.
ESPN cites Hayward’s outside run support and tackling as his two best attributes. Hayward is simply a solid player. He’s not going to slack off during practice, and he’s not going to commit a lot of costly mistakes on the field.
Hayward projects to be a solid part of the Terps’ defense in a few years. His athleticism and work ethic should help him establish himself in the locker room and on the practice field. He is the type of guy that coaches love. That could help him get on the field before other comparable guys.