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Tennessee Football Leading For Blue-Chip Defensive Back

Tennessee Football
Tennessee Vols’ Football Stadium. Photo via Tennessee Athletics.

Tennessee football is the leader in four-star safety Lagonza Hayward’s recruitment, the blue-chip recruit told On3’s Chad Simmons on Monday.

Josh Heupel and his staff offered Hayward back in the fall and hosted him on an unofficial visit the weekend of the Georgia game. Hayward plans on taking an official visit to Tennessee in June and also has official visits planned to Florida State, Southern Cal and Alabama.

Hayward ranks as a four-star recruit and as the No. 98 player in the country according to the 247sports composite rankings. The Lyons, Georgia native ranks as the 12th best safety and the No. 15 player in the state of Georgia in the 2025 cycle.

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A standout at Toombs County High School, Hayward totaled 48 tackles, three interceptions, four pass break ups and three tackles for loss during his junior season.

While Tennessee is the current leader for Hayward, he’s actually visited both Alabama and Florida State more times to this point in his recruitment. He’s been to Tallahassee twice this calendar year and Alabama once this year and another time back in the fall when Nick Saban was still the Crimson Tide’s head coach.

The Vols’ 2025 recruiting class currently contains nine commits including three defensive backs. Alabama safety Sidney Walton became Tennessee’s first safety commit in the class when he committed last week.

Tennessee’s nine commit recruiting class ranks No. 14 nationally according to the 247sports team rankings.

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