04/25/2013 - DANE BRUGLER'S FINAL 2013 DRAFT BOARD: 31. CB D.J. Hayden, Houston (5-11, 191, 4SR)...A serious heart issue ended his 2012 season (and almost his life). But with a clean bill of health, Hayden has first-round tools. Long-term durability is a question mark. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
04/25/2013 - 2013 NFL DRAFT: SIX GUYS WHO MAY SNEAK INTO THE FIRST ROUND: 2. D.J. Hayden, CB Houston: Here's a young man who had a near fatal situation with a torn blood vessel in November and is now flying up draft boards. I had a well-respected secondary coach say "DJ is the second-best corner in the draft. I like him more than Rhodes or Trufant." He went on to say, "this guy can mirror receivers, flip his hips with ease and has great NFL skills." - Pat Kirwan, CBSSports.com
04/21/2013 - 2013 NFL DRAFT: FIVE BOLD PREDICTIONS: 3. Double-digit cornerbacks will come off the board in the first two rounds...Alabama's Dee Milliner and Florida State's Xavier Rhodes won't last long on draft day, but they aren't the only cornerbacks who will be highly sought after early in the draft. In fact, we will see double-digit cornerbacks drafted in the top 64 picks of the 2013 NFL Draft. Milliner and Rhodes are top-20 picks, but then between picks 20-64, we could see at least eight cornerbacks come off the board, including prospects like Desmond Trufant (Washington), D.J. Hayden (Houston), Jamar Taylor (Boise State), Johnthan Banks (Mississippi State), Darius Slay (Mississippi State), Robert Alford (SE Louisiana), Logan Ryan (Rutgers), Blidi Wreh-Wilson (Connecticut) and Tyrann Mathieu (LSU). - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
03/19/2013 - 2013 Houston Pro Day: Houston CB Hayden eases concerns about health, speed...By now, most NFL draft enthusiasts have heard of the frightening medical conditions potential first-round candidates Star Lotulelei (heart) and Jarvis Jones (spinal stenosis) are reportedly facing. Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden might lack the name recognition of his peers but his medical condition was even more frightening. Thankfully, with a terrific effort Monday during Houston's Pro Day, he provided some evidence that he might be on his way to a full recovery.
Hayden was clocked in an unofficial time of 4.33 seconds in his first running of the 40-yard dash, according to the University of Houston athletics website. A league source on the scene clocked the First Team All-Conference USA cornerback at a slightly slower but still blazing 4.40 seconds. Hayden pulled up with a hamstring on his second attempt and elected not to further participate. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
03/19/2013 - 2013 Houston Pro Day: Hayden did compete in the vertical jump (33.5 inches), broad jump (10 feet) prior to running the 40-yard dash. Hayden did not participate in the positional drills due to the hamstring injury, nor did he attempt the bench press as his sternum is still recovering from the emergency heart surgery conducted shortly after his injury was diagnosed following a freak hit during practice on November 6.
Hayden had been earning second- and third-round grades from clubs prior to suffering the injury. The 5-foot-11, 189-pound defender is a fluid athlete with the agility and speed to effectively remain in the hip pocket of receivers. He breaks on the ball quickly and has shown natural ball skills, intercepting six passes in just 23 games, returning two of his four interceptions this past season for long touchdowns. If teams believe he can fully recover from the freak injury, he could wind up as a "surprise" top 100 selection next month. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
03/18/2013 - 2013 Houston Pro Day: Former UH cornerback DJ Hayden ran the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds on Monday's UH pro day. Hayden, who suffered a near fatal tear of the main vein to his heart in November, went through a series of drills before more than 25 NFL teams. He did not participate in the final portion after tweaking his left hamstring on his final 40-yard dash.
Hayden has four private workouts scheduled and seven pre-draft visits currently scheduled, his agent Jeff Nalley said. Hayden attended the NFL scouting combine in February but did not work out there. He also skipped the bench press at pro day as his sternum continues to heal. "It's the most unique injury in the history of the draft," Packers senior executive Alonzo Highsmith said. "The only people that ever had it aren't alive and doctors have never seen it." - Joseph Duarte, The Houston Chronicle
03/17/2013 - Seventeen players from last season's squad and one former player will participate in Monday's Houston Pro Day at the Athletics/Alumni Center. Cornerback D.J. Hayden, who suffered a near-fatal injury last November, will work out for NFL scouts for the first time. Hayden interviewed with teams at last month's NFL combine in Indianapolis.
Here is the complete list of players who will participate: Lloyd Allen, Jacolby Ashworth, Brannon Beasley, Everett Daniels, Terrell Douglas, Brandon Hartson, D J Hayden, Matt Hogan, Kelvin King, David Mason, Dominic Miller, Radermon Scypion, Phillip Steward, Isaiah Sweeney, Braxton Welford, Marcus Williams, Ronnie Williams and Tyron Carrier (class of 2011). - The Houston Chronicle
02/20/2013 - 2013 NFL Combine, Medical watch: Of all the medical testing that will take place in Indianapolis for this year's NFL prospects, the most critical grade will be the one teams receive on Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden. Hayden's senior season was cut short after he suffered a life-threatening tear of the inferior vena cava in the heart (the vein which supplies blood to the lower half of the body) from a collision in practice.
Despite only playing nine games, Hayden was named a First Team All-Conference USA pick and was highly regarded among scouts. If given a clean bill of health, the 6-0, 190-pound Hayden could earn second-round consideration. Should team doctors red-flag the injury, however, he could be taken off some teams' boards altogether. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
12/13/2012 - 2012 ALL-CONFERENCE USA FIRST TEAM (COACHES): DB-D.J. Hayden, Sr., Houston, has been selected First Team All-Conference USA (Coaches selection) for the 2012 college football season. Hayden was second in the league with four interceptions despite only playing nine games after suffering a life-threatening tear of the inferior vena cava in the heart from a collision in practice. The defensive captain returned two of his interceptions for touchdowns, both returns over 75 yards.
Prior to his injury, just 45 of 362 pass attempts (12.4%) from UH opponents went Hayden's way. Of the 45, just 11 were completed, representing just 5% of the 216 completions from UH opponents with Hayden in the lineup. The senior also had eight pass breakups, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. - Houston football
11/12/2012 - A University of Houston defensive back left a hospital Monday, six days after a hit in practice tore a major vein that feeds his heart and left him in critical condition. The school said cornerback D.J. Hayden was discharged from Memorial Hermann-Texas Trauma Institute in Houston. Hayden and his family won't be available for comment immediately, UH athletics spokesman David Bassity said. The senior was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital after the collision last Tuesday. Hayden was rushed into immediate surgery for a tear of the inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body to the heart. The injury is 95 percent fatal in the field and is most commonly associated with high-speed motor vehicle injuries, team physician Dr. Walter Lowe said. ''Looking at the whole course of events and the severity of the injury, D.J. has progressed remarkably well and is out a lot sooner than expected,'' Lowe said. ''He's got a lot of healing left to do as the procedure to repair the inferior vena cava is much like a heart transplant,'' Lowe said. ''The sternum should take around three months to heal, and D.J. is expected to be able to resume normal activities without contact in three to four months.'' Hayden was tied for the Conference USA lead with four interceptions and had returns for touchdowns in consecutive games against SMU and UTEP earlier this season. He was named the league's Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 29 after picking off two passes in the 45-35 victory over the Miners. - AP Sports
11/09/2012 - Houston football player D.J. Hayden was transported by ambulance from the University of Houston football practice facility to Memorial Hermann Hospital on Tuesday afternoon for evaluation of an injury sustained from a collision in practice. Walter Lowe, M.D., University of Houston Head Team Physician, confirmed Thursday that Hayden required immediate surgery for a tear of the inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body back to the heart. Lowe described the injury as very serious and life threatening while commending the coordinated response from the University of Houston Athletics Training Staff, EMS paramedics and the trauma staff at Memorial Hermann. Hayden is currently alert and in stable yet critical condition in Memorial Hermann ICU unit. The University of Houston Athletics Department will release further updates on Hayden as they become available. Statement from Walter Lowe, M.D., University of Houston Head Team Physician "This injury has never been seen or reported in association with a football injury and is more associated with high speed motor vehicle injuries. The type of injury D.J. had is 95 percent fatal in the field and we are all very thankful for the coordinate response from the University of Houston trainers, EMS paramedics, the trauma team at Memorial Hermann and operating surgeon Dr. John Holcomb." - Houston football
11/08/2012 - Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden remains hospitalized in "stable, yet critical" condition after tearing a vein in a collision with a teammate during practice. Team physician Dr. Walter Lowe said in a statement from the school Thursday that the senior was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital after the collision late Tuesday afternoon. Hayden was rushed into immediate surgery for a tear of the inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body to the heart. Lowe says that type of injury is fatal "95 percent" of the time. He says such an injury is usually linked to high-speed motor vehicle accidents. "This injury has never been seen or reported in association with a football injury," Lowe said. Lowe complimented the quick response by the team's trainers, paramedics, the Memorial Hermann trauma team and operating surgeon Dr. John Holcomb. The statement from the school said Hayden was alert, but still recovering in the intensive-care unit. "We are very fortunate to have some of the nation's top physicians and medical facilities just minutes away from our campus," first-year coach Tony Levine said, "and I would like to extend our appreciation for their efforts on Tuesday evening." Hayden leads Conference USA with four interceptions and had returns for touchdowns in consecutive games against SMU and UTEP earlier this season. He was named the league's Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 29 after picking off two passes in the 45-35 victory over the Miners. - AP Sports
09/30/2012 - D.J. Hayden didn't allow a reception in three first-half targets as his defense helped shut out the Owls 14-0 at the break. But the all-conference cornerback had a rough third quarter, getting flagged for a dubious pass interference penalty before later surrendering Rice's first points on a perfect fade route from Jackson to Sam McGuggie.
07/24/2012 - 2012 PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE USA TEAM (COACHES): DB D.J. Hayden, Sr., Houston...Hayden, a senior defensive back, earned a spot on the all-conference defensive squad after earning C-USA Defensive Newcomer of the Year honors in his first season at Houston in 2011 to help lead the Cougars to a record-breaking 13 victories. The Houston native paced the team with 11 passes broken up and finished fifth on the squad with two interceptions. He also led the club with five forced fumbles to go along with 66 tackles and eight tackles for loss. Hayden shined in the second half of the season, returning an interception 54 yards for a touchdown at UAB before stringing together five-straight games with a forced fumble to end the season. In Houston's 30-14 victory over No. 22 Penn State in the 2012 TicketCity Bowl, Hayden forced a fumble to go with two tackles for loss. - Houston football
07/18/2012 - 2012 JIM THORPE AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST: D.J. Hayden, Houston CB, Sr., has been selected to the Preseason Jim Thorpe Award Watch List for the 2012 college football season, presented to the best defensive back in college football by the Jim Thorpe Association. Hayden made an immediate impact in his first season at Houston in 2011, earning Conference USA Defensive Newcomer of the Year honors to help lead the Cougars to a record-breaking 13 victories. The Houston native paced the team with 11 passes broken up and finished fifth on the squad with two interceptions. He also led the club with five forced fumbles to go along with 66 tackles and eight tackles for loss. Hayden shined in the second half of the season, returning an interception 54 yards for a touchdown at UAB before stringing together five-straight games with a forced fumble to end the season. In Houston's 30-14 victory over No. 23 Penn State in the 2012 TicketCity Bowl, Hayden forced a fumble to go with two tackles for loss. Prior to starring at Houston, Hayden played two seasons at Navarro Junior College where he helped lead the Bulldogs to the 2010 NJCAA national championship. - Houston football