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Tennessee Football Makes The Cut For Elite Prep Safety

Photo By Kate Luffman/Tennessee Athletics

Four-star safety Lagonza Hayward released his top seven including Tennessee football on Tuesday morning. The Vols joined Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, South Carolina and Southern Cal in Hayward’s top group.

Hayward ranks as a four-star recruit and the No. 97 player in the country according to the 247sports composite rankings. A Lyons, Georgia native, Hayward ranks as the 12th best safety and the 15th best player in the state of Georgia.

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.

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One of the top safeties in 2025 recruiting cycle, Hayward previously told On3’s Chad Simmons that the Vols were his leader entering his summer official visits.

Hayward took an unofficial visit to Tennessee in the fall for the Georgia game and has an official visit scheduled to Knoxville in late June.

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 6-foot-1, 200-pound safety has summer official visits scheduled to Florida, Florida State and Southern Cal in addition to Tennessee.

Tennessee’s nine-commit recruiting class currently contains three defensive backs and one safety— three-star Alabama native Sidney Walton. The Vols’ 2025 recruiting class currently ranks No. 15 nationally according to the 247sports team rankings.

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