Since Jalin Hyatt committed to Tennessee football in 2019, fans have been high on the 6’0″ 175-pound wide receiver. A four-star prospect out of Irmo, S.C., Hyatt somehow didn’t receive an offer from the hometown South Carolina Gamecocks or Clemson Tigers, even after he played a pivotal role in Dutch Fork High School’s 2019 Class 5A State Title.
With that in mind, it’s no wonder he plays with a chip on his shoulder. But make no mistake, Hyatt is a Volunteer through and through. He never wavered in the face of adversity when the entire coaching staff he committed to play for was axed earlier this year.
Hyatt’s father, a positively outspoken member of UT’s social media presence, has thanked Volunteer fans for their continued support over his son’s lone year in Knoxville. Recently, Hyatt shared some of that love back to Vol Nation on Twitter.
Until the end of time, fans and coaches will look for the intangibles that make football players great leaders. But those who lead by example and do the little things right are oftentimes good people as well.
Hyatt didn’t have to respond to this fan, he didn’t have to share that the fan’s tweet motivated him at practice, and he didn’t have to extend his sincerest appreciation for the gesture. But, he did. The stars of Tennessee football team today once watched their favorite players on TV, too.
A good person and a great player, Hyatt’s 2020 freshman campaign included 20 receptions, 276 yards and two touchdowns. He earned a spot on 247 Sports’ Preseason Freshman All-American team before last season and finished third on the team in passes caught, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
Part of the tweet that Hyatt responded to in the first place referenced Tennessee football’s return to “WRU”. And that young fan isn’t alone. Many people have high expectations for Hyatt in Josh Heupel’s offense, especially after the talent he displayed receiving passes from three different quarterbacks as the third wideout on the depth chart.
As for whether or not Hyatt will be the guy to bring Rocky Top back to the level of “WRU”, he’ll certainly have the opportunity to represent UT at the next level. Currently, former Vols Marquez Callaway, Cordarrelle Patterson, Josh Malone and Jauan Jennings are busy representing UT in the NFL, while Josh Palmer is working towards draft night at the end of this month.
Hyatt is just one of the many underclassmen wide-outs that Tennessee football’s roster boasts. With multiple years under Kodi Burns and Heupel, Hyatt and others such as Malachi Wideman, Jimmy Calloway, Walker Merrill and Julian Nixon could also potentially earn the opportunity to represent Rocky Top in the NFL.