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HADDEN OR HERO: Could Kamal Hadden be Tennessee's best man-to-man defender in 2023?

By: Jake Hubbard

Senior Staff Writer, Junior Editor, Co-Host

The All Vol Call in Show


Kamal Hadden | Photo: 247Sports

Kamal Hadden is a name that was tossed around in a slew of contexts last season. I initially said that Hadden was the best man defender that Tennessee had, and I truly believed that. I also, out of anger, cursed his name after the combination of poor play and careless behavior in the devastating loss to South Carolina. However, I still think that the former could ring true and carry over to the 2023 season.

I believe in Josh Heupel and I believe above all else, he does what is best for the football team. I think that Kamal Hadden has all the pieces to be a magnificent ballplayer in the SEC, and I hope that he supports this theory with his on field performance in the upcoming season.

Hear me out: I love a player that plays with heart and gives 100%. However, just like everything else, there is a time and place for it. Make a big time interception, knock a guy on his tail, or sack the QB from behind; it’s all yours, celebrate and jaw a little. When you get burnt, put your head down and get back to work. Despite the knucklehead jawing against South Carolina, mixed with a few busts throughout the season, Hadden was a dang good player.

For reference, Hadden finished the season 6 th in total tackles, led the team in interceptions, and added 3 pass deflections and a fumble recovery. I truly believe that if Kamal Hadden channels that passion, and uses that enthusiasm to not only better himself but to better the team.

I think Hadden will be a big asset to this defense and that we will see a much more humble, electric player wearing #5.


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