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Former pro pitcher Hayden Hurst now TE for Gamecocks

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Whenever you hear of an athlete wanting to try out a different sport, he usually has had a pretty successful career in his previous one. While getting drafted to the MLB is usually a pretty big accomplishment, Hayden Hurst’s career didn’t pan out like he would have hoped.

Hurst is now getting a second shot, but this time in a much different sport. According to Greenville Online, Hurst is getting that second chance as a tight end for the South Carolina Gamecocks.

The 22-year-old freshman at the Columbia-based school was assisted in getting a spot on the Gamecocks’ roster by current quarterback Perry Orth. Hurst decided to start his athletic career over after he was a 17th round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013. He spent two seasons with the team’s rookie-level minor league squad in Bradenton, Florida before ultimately giving up on the sport.

Hurst’s contract with the Pirates guaranteed him money for college, so while he’s a walk-on with the Gamecocks, he is still technically on scholarship. Hurst saw significant playing time during a scrimmage a few weeks ago as he caught a pass for six yards, but made contributions along the offensive line.

Hurst was a two-sport athlete at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida, playing both baseball and football. He said that he received football offers from Tennessee and other small schools, but he decided to keep his focus on baseball for the time being.

I guess it worked out pretty well for Hurst. Baseball didn’t work for him in the beginning, so he’s hoping that football will pan out even better.

The Gamecocks play North Carolina in Charlotte on September 3 to open the season.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

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  • CAMPUSSPORTS Writer
    Caleb is a young veteran of the sports journalism world that has a passion for college football, mostly the SEC, but namely the LSU Tigers. He also has an affinity for the Georgia Southern Eagles, because who doesn't love Erk Russell and national championships, right? He has experience working in print and online media as well as broadcasting, working with his high school alma mater football team and the Savannah Bananas.
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