Damon Hazelton Jr. Announces Intent to Transfer to Virginia Tech

The Hokies hit the transfer market to bolster their wide receiver depth.

[Ball State Athletics]

Ball State wide receiver Damon Hazelton announced his intent to transfer to Virginia Tech. As a freshman in 2016, the 6-2, 209 pound Baltimore, MD product was second in receptions for the Cardinals. All in all, he caught 51 passes for 505 yards and 4 touchdowns last season. Per NCAA transfer rules, he will have three years to play three beginning in 2018.

Comments

Interesting, by the statement I am assuming that he will have to sit out the customary year. Did he redshirt last year?

He played, 50ish receptions 500ish rec yards and 4 TD's.

I'm still waiting for insight on whether I should be really excited about this or not.

Me too, but in Fuente we trust.

I am always excited that somebody has come to the light and determined they want a quality education at one of the best schools in the Country. If they can play football or basketball all the better.

Leonard approved. (Especially for Capitalizing "Country".)

Leonard. Duh.

He did it all as a true freshman if that moves your needle.

I mean, Ford had 56 catches and 709yds his freshman year. Also, after looking at ball sts offense, they didn't seem to be passing machine so his stats may need to be taken with a grain of salt

Not saying they're comparable in any way but that's a good amount of production for 10 games, while Isiah had 13.

I don't know how he was used at Ball State but that's a pretty significant difference in YPC.

We should get a CB to transfer so we can keep Farley at WR permanently

I was thinking the same thing.

Twice in two days.

Looks like he was a Freshman last year, so he'll have 2 years 3 years of eligibility after he sits out a redshirt year this year.

Started 7 of the 9 games he played for Ball St last year. 78 targets, 51 receptions, 505 yards, 4 TDs and fumbled once. Had a 9.9 YPC average with a season long of 28 while averaging 56.1 reception yards per game.... As a true Freshman.

Looks like his interest (no offer, though) list included West Virginia, Miami and Missouri before he declared to Ball St. 247 rated him a 3* WR out of High school.

Have to admit, I really like what I see here. He should be a big contributor when he's able to see the field.

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

can't he use his redshirt to sit out the year?

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

If he was a true freshman he should have 3 years of eligibility remaining after sitting out a redshirt year

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Paul Johnson.

Its worth noting, his stat line got better and better as the season progressed last year. Yes, there was bit of a stinker in the last game against Miami (OH) where he only had 1 catch for 15 years, but before that against WMich, EMich, and Toledo, he put up a combined 215 yards and 2 TD on 25 catches, including a 12 reception, 102 yard afternoon against Toledo.

Looks like he could be a bit of a steal.

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

1 catch for 15 years

That's a really long catch. That QB must have one heck of an arm

Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate, and hetzers gonna hetz

It was probably Uncle Rico, as he's known to be able to throw a football over a mountain.

I seem to remember David Wilson having a run for 15 years against Clemson.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

what can I say, the kid can play

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

He can make the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs!

All of a sudden, I found myself in love with the world
So there was only one thing that I could do
Was ding a ding, dang my dang a long ling long....

Freshman highlights start at the 2:05 mark. He's listed at 6'3" 200. Looks like he's good at 50/50 jump balls and has decent enough hands to be a viable target in that capacity. Not sure on speed/quickness, though. More than likely an outside receiver...red zone target kid of guy.

Better Know a Cardinal: Damon Hazelton

Man, those really are some good highlights. Shows that the catches he was making wasn't exactly garbage time crap, and its not like he was just sandbagging wide open receptions. And most importantly, he's got some velcro on those gloves the way he was coming down with some of those legitimate bad throws from his QB. And when he gets the ball in open field, he's going to be breaking ankles in the ACC.

A kid with size and good hands? Sign me up all day long.

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

Watching the film, I thought its kind of hard to gauge given the level of competition, but damn if he isn't just impressive coming down with some of those balls.

For your reference:

I know our schedule was a bit tougher than theirs, but those numbers are pretty damn impressive for a true freshman who almost certainly had a QB who wasn't at the level of Michael Brewer or Jerod Evans throwing to him. That 4 rec 42 yard and 1 TD performance against Western Michigan really stands out, because they were a legit good team last year.

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

but those numbers are pretty damn impressive for a true freshman who almost certainly had a QB who wasn't at the level of Michael Brewer or Jerod Evans throwing to him

Agreed. Who knows if he'll ever be a "star" for VT, but he brings a big body and a proven ability to be productive on a college football field. Good find by Fuente & Co.

I like what I see he could be big his size is a plus as well

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Essentially he replaces Deablo from an organizational depth perspective. He was very productive as a true freshman and has nice size. I need to see the film to get a feel for his YAC, but with Farley's future position in a bit of flux and a major need at both WR and corner, you are getting a proven commodity who wants to be here.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Looks to be a smaller Bucky, but still with above avg size, and he's better at ball adjustment and has better hands. Should be a good possession/TD receiver.

For those wondering why he was only a 3* (247... 2* Composite) WR recuit out of high school with an offer list of only Ball St and FSU, per Chris Coleman over at TSL, he never actually played WR full-time until his senior year of high school, having primarily been a RB before then. Schools just didn't know what he was capable of.

I don't see anything about this transfer that there isn't to like outside of the fact he won't be able to play this year. Looking over his highlights from this past season, he looks to be the real deal.

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

Sure looks like a good pickup to me.

Like usual, time will tell.

Reminds me of the guys ECU had that seemed to win every "50/50" ball (is it really 50/50 if it never goes your way?). He seems to have great presence of mind when the ball is in the air.

winning 50/50 balls was pretty easy against us when our CBs were playing trail technique and looking at their hands not the ball though.

It just goes to show how unconventional Fuente's recruiting style is compared to Beamer's. Do other programs pick up as many transfers as Fuente seems to? Regardless Fuente seems to scout a much further terrain both geographically and in terms of eligibility.

this is the 1 area many people were hoping VT would look into when Fuente was hired. A lot of gems that need 2nd chances/ under recruited out of high school.

SEC finds some of the best talent from JUCO and small school transfers.

I wonder if the transfer numbers will go down once Fuente has a few recruiting cycles behind him and has a team consisting primarily of "his" guys.

Although I do like the idea of transfers. Let the craziness of recruiting settle down, figure out your weak areas, and then go get someone with a more known skill set due to their college reps.

Completely unknown. Just depends on if Fuente's guys end up being hits or misses. Targetting transfers or jucos is always a good idea to address immediate depth concerns.

I'll take a "recruit" who's demonstrated he can play at the college level (even from a lower-tier Div. I school) over 90% of all high school recruits.

Excellent plan.

When you can come in (even at Ball St) and make that kind of impact as a true freshman,

when you have the kind of measurables he has,

when you watch him highpointing/beating DBs on close balls,

when you re-watch his tape when you realize he's only played wideout for 2 years (!!!)...

and he'll get a year to learn. And then he has 3 years left.

Tommy likey. Tommy want wingy.

You're the only ones that I can talk to about this, you guys.

Amba Etta-Tawo went from Maryland where he was just a scrub, to all world in the Syracuse system. There is no reason why this kid can't do the same at Virginia Tech.

What's
Important
Now

How does this work from a recruiting standpoint? I'm curios, how do we identify that these kids that may be interested in transferring?

From the images that Chazz posted it seams that he was the #2 productive receiver at Ball St and now he wants to continue his career with the Hokies. I'm all in favor of that but did he put himself into the transfer market, did we approach him? I don't need to know specifics but I'm just wondering how this generally works with undergrad transfers. I understand the guys that are looking for more playing time, a coaching change has happened, or graduate transfers but this just seems to be different. Anyone have any insight?

Run to Win. Pass To Score

Hazelton announced his intent to leave Ball State about a month ago. I assume at that point, either someone on the VT side saw the news and called him up or someone on the Hazelton side approached VT. I doubt there's anything as nefarious as us influencing a player to leave their current school, but once the news is out there and a player has asked for, and been granted, their release, I would imagine the process is just like HS recruiting.

Thanks - I didn't realize that he had announced his decision to transfer. Interesting that he's deciding to leave when he was the 2nd leading receiver.

Run to Win. Pass To Score

Probably realized staying at Ball State wasn't going to provide dividends in terms of team success and exposure for a possible NFL career, not to mention playing in a dynamic offensive system and a bit closer to home. Since he probably didn't get the hs exposure to get top flight FBS offers, the past year was a stepping stone for him to get the attention from the schools that really peaked his interest, like us after last season's success.

"That man was violating a city ordinance, and I was just doing my duty to enforce it." - Mike Curtis

"..because anytime you go upside a man's head, or a woman's, they have a tendency to blink their eyes.." - Deacon Jones

I wouldn't worry about his hs ranking at all, considering the success he has as a true freshman at a FBS school against decent competition. Alot of players from the Baltimore public school system have a tendency to get overlooked compared to their private school counterparts. And just take a look at receivers like Antonio Freeman and Tavon Austin for comparable receivers from B'more public schools who weren't exactly 4 or 5-star recruits. I think this is a damn good pickup, just too bad we'll have to wait until 2018 to get him on the field.

"That man was violating a city ordinance, and I was just doing my duty to enforce it." - Mike Curtis

"..because anytime you go upside a man's head, or a woman's, they have a tendency to blink their eyes.." - Deacon Jones