College Park's Hazen starting to draw "Big Boys"
Dylan Hazen is more than just a time.
The College Park linebacker ran the fastest time at the Rivals combine in Houston clocked by a laser at 4.566 in the 40-yard dash. That's over 1,500 athletes.
"I knew I was going to run a good time," the 6-foot-1, 210-pound defender said. "I had been hand-timed under a 4.4 at my high school. When I saw the top performers at the combine, I thought – hold up – that's my name."
"I think I could have had a better three-come drill and pro-shuttle time, but I just kept sliding on the turf."
Ok, so he had a great time – a combine-kid, right? Wrong.
Times and measurables can't explain the two-time, first-team selections on an 11-9 team in District 15-6A – one of the tougher districts in the city of Houston.
College Park coach Lonnie Madison recognizes talent, but doesn't spread around accolades to just anyone. Madison starred at defensive end for rival The Woodlands before playing at Texas A&M.
"Dylan is as talented as any player I've coached over the last 17 years," Madison said. "He has a rare combination of strength and speed. He has our school record in the 40-yard dash and benches 325 pounds. He's got the work ethic and football awareness to be an impact collegiate player right away. You won't find a better leader. Whoever gets him will be lucky."
Hazen holds offers from Illinois, Tulane, Tulsa, Rice and several Ivy League schools due to his exemplary grades.
"The recruiting process has been a little stressful," he said. "It's tough because you just don't know who is going to want you. Who is going to give you that chance? Who will be first to take that risk?
"I've been talking with Baylor and Ohio State recently and I really like those two schools as well. I'm looking for a school that has a great ranking academically. Then it's all about the campus and culture. How the players interact with each other? I want to be a part of a brotherhood, not just players having to be there."
Hazen started to see his football future come into focus upon the arrival of coach Madison.
"When I was at Knox Junior High, I wasn't the most athletic kid," he laughed. "I was on the chubby side and not one of the top players. I was really doubting my football ability. When coach (Lonnie) Madison came in, he had a program in place. I just followed the process and slimmed up, got faster and by my sophomore year started to realize my potential."
It's not a surprise that Hazen's parents met in the weight room at the Clemson University. His extended family all live in South Carolina and before the arrival of Madison, Hazen considered going back to South Carolina.
Heck, he even has the Trevor Lawrence flow.
"I just tried to grow my hair out to see what it looked like," he laughed. "It just stuck."
Hazen was always the biggest kid in the SCFL – Montgomery County's football league for youngsters. He has definitely grown into his body as his athleticism has caught up through hard work.
"I was always been one of the bigger guys growing up," he said. "I think my speed is what sets me a part. Speed is my friend. I'm a good open-field tackler and am strong. This spring and summer I'm working on my agility, my start-and-stop and using my hands. I watch a lot of video and am working on disguising my blitzes as well. There is always something to work on."
"I'll be playing a lot of pick-up basketball also," he laughs. "Anything to compete. I'm not that great, but can body-up by buddies in the paint and get some rebounds."
One thing that's hard to measure is heart. It seems like Hazen's cup is overflowing.