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Tennessee Receiver Named SEC Offensive Player Of The Week

Photo via Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee receiver Jalin Hyatt is the SEC Offensive Player of the Week after his groundbreaking performance against then-No. 3 Alabama Saturday evening.

The junior receiver caught six passes for 207 yards and five touchdowns in the win. Hyatt entered the season with just four career touchdowns before compiling five touchdowns the first five weeks of the season.

The South Carolina native torched the Alabama secondary deep, catching touchdowns of 78, 60 and 36 yards as well as short touchdowns of 11 and 13 yards.

“I think that is one of the great stories,” Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel said of Hyatt postgame. “Everyone knew he wanted to be a great player. You’ve heard me say it. He has worked to become a great player this year. Preparation meets opportunity and you have to be ready to smash it. Tonight, he had opportunities and played really good football. It’s really special what he did tonight.”

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Hyatt talked at length in the offseason about how displeased he was with his role last season but that he realized it was his own fault. Tennessee coaches raved about Hyatt’s increased work ethic all offseason and it showed up on the biggest stage inside Neyland Stadium.

β€œTo be honest, I didn’t know I was going to have five touchdowns,” Hyatt said postgame. “That’s a lot. It was the looks, what they were showing us. We came to the sidelines and figured out what was going to work against their defense. There’s a lot that goes to it in terms of the game plan and how we prepare. We knew we could execute on big plays, knew that coming into the game and knew we had to in order to win this game.”

After his breakout performance, Hyatt has 595 yards and 10 touchdowns at the halfway point in Tennessee’s schedule. If Hyatt repeats his first half stats the back half of the season he’ll have one of the best single seasons from a Tennessee receiver in program history.

Hyatt isn’t the first Vol to earn SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors this season. Hendon Hooker earned the award after his performance against Pittsburgh and Florida.

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