Started the first nine games of the season before suffering a season-ending tear of the inferior vena cava in the heart from a freak collision in practice ... earned first team All-Conference USA honors despite the injury ... was second on the team with four interceptions and eight pass breakups ... returned two of his four interceptions for touchdowns with a 75-yard return at SMU and a 95-yard return vs. UTEP ... his TD return vs. UTEP marked his second interception against the Miners as he also picked off a pass at UCLA ... also forced a fumble at UCLA and recovered a fumble against UAB ... career-high 10 tackles against Louisiana Tech and has back-to-back nine-tackle games against North Texas and UAB.
Conference USA Defensive Newcomer of the Year ... Second Team All-Conference USA ... One of the country's top junior college newcomers and was a shutdown corner for the UH defense ... Led the club with 11 passes broken up ... Finished fifth on the club with two interceptions ... Forced a team-leading five fumbles ... Forced a fumble in each of the season's final five games ... Recovered two fumbles ... Had eight tackles for loss and a sack ... Had 66 tackles, including 52 solo stops ... Returned an interception 54 yards for a score at UAB ... Had two tackles for loss in the 2012 TicketCity Bowl win against Penn State ... Had five tackles, two tackles-for-loss, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble vs. Rice ... Had nine tackles against Marshall and eight stops against Tulsa and Southern Miss.
Full name is Derek Sherrard Hayden ... Born June 27, 1990 ... Son of Derek and Taloria Hayden ... Majoring in sociology.
- ROB RANG'S FINAL 2013 NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD: 28. D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston: In a year of medical marvels, Hayden's recovery from a freakish injury suffered during practice might be the most dramatic. The first-team all-Conference USA cornerback had a primary vein torn after a routine collision with a teammate in practice. The injury, which reportedly results in fatalities 95 percent of the time and is normally associated with auto accidents, required emergency surgery. With team doctors clearing Hayden (6-0, 191), scouts are left to focus on ability in coverage and creating turnovers (12 in less than two seasons at Houston). - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
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