By: William Allen
Senior Staff Writer
The All Vol Call in Show
Former Pittsburgh Steelers star Troy Polamalu and electric Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt have two things in common: they’re both great football players, and both have rockstar hairstyles. If Head and Shoulders shampoo has an NIL deal for college athletes, Hyatt should be number one on the list.
This year at Tennessee, Jalin Hyatt has been a more focused player in comparison to last season. Former Vols wide receiver Velus Jones Jr., now a member of the Chicago Bears, helped set an example of how to prepare and harness the game of football. In the absence of star receiver Cedric Tillman, Hyatt has emerged as a go-to threat along with Bru McCoy.
Coming out of high school in Irmo, South Carolina, Hyatt was the nation's 33rd-ranked wide receiver in the 247 composite rankings. He led Dutch Fork to back-to-back undefeated 5A state titles in 2018 and 2019 and is the all-time leading receiver for the Silver Foxes with 3,624 yards and 57 touchdowns.
In his first two seasons at Tennessee, Hyatt amassed 502 yards, 41 receptions, and four touchdowns. This season, he’s accounted for 27 receptions, 388 yards and five touchdowns through four games with an average of 14.4 yards per catch. Hyatt secured three huge receptions of 48, 57, and 47 yards in a win over Akron this season and posted a career-high 11 catches for 73 yards in an overtime win at Pitt.
This past weekend, the Vols traveled to Baton Rouge to face the 25th-ranked LSU Tigers and won convincingly, 40-13. Hyatt recently responded to the atmosphere when playing at Tiger Stadium on Twitter.
"To be honest, it didn’t even feel like we were on the road," said Hyatt.
Tennessee fans traveled well and showed up early in Baton Rouge to support the Vols in their win over LSU.
The Vols have a huge test this weekend with Alabama coming to Knoxville in a top 10 showdown. Rece Davis is rolling to Knoxville again with the cast of the College Gameday pregame show presented by Home Depot.
"You think you’ve heard loud? You haven’t heard loud until you hear what it’s going to be like when they run through the ‘T’ on Saturday," Davis said earlier this week.
Analyst Lee Corso, 87, has missed out on the last two weeks for health reasons. Kirk Herbstreit wrote on Twitter, "Just wanted to let people know College Gameday is 1000% coming to Knoxville this weekend. We are fired up to come back to town. We can’t wait to give this game the love and hype it deserves. See ya in Knoxville this weekend! "
Jalin Hyatt has quarterback Hendon Hooker, a Heisman contender, tossing the rock this season. Even though the Vols haven’t beaten Alabama since 2006 and Alabama leads the series 58-37-8 in 104 total meetings, Tennessee is confident. Hyatt had a few words about this weekend's matchup with Alabama at home in Neyland.
"We’re ready for it. We’re confident in our guys, confident in our coaches, and we just need to execute and do what we do. "