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Top-100 safety Lagonza Hayward narrows list of schools, sets new commitment date

Wg0vf-nP_400x400by:Keegan Pope06/10/24


Lyons (Ga.) Toombs County four-star safety Lagonza Hayward initially planned to announce his college decision on Aug. 7, the first day of his senior year of high school.

But a new plan has emerged for the top-100 talent, including a smaller list of schools he will ultimately choose from. Hayward told On3’s Chad Simmons on Monday that he will now commit on July 27, roughly two weeks earlier than he was going to decide. He’s also down to just four schools now: Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Hayward has already taken official visits to Athens and Columbia this summer, with trips to Florida (June 14) and Tennessee (June 21) still to go.

Tennessee had been viewed as the team to beat, with Hayward even saying so last month. The Volunteers have plenty of competition, with the Bulldogs and Gamecocks making big moves while hey had him on campus.

“Georgia made a big move,” Hayward said after the OV. “I didn’t really know how Georgia felt about me before the visit, but they showed a lot of love all weekend, they showed me I am wanted and Georgia moved up my list.”

Hayward talks other finalists

The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder previously spoke with Simmons about what makes each school left in his recruitment a contender for him:

Florida: “I have been talking to Florida more lately. Me and Coach Armstrong talk a good bit and I am thinking about getting down there. I haven’t really given Florida a chance, so I am looking at them more now.”

Tennessee: “The way they went about recruiting me from the beginning means a lot. They believed in me early. Tennessee offered me before the stars, so they have been heavy with me from the jump,” Hayward said of the Vols. Coach Banks, Coach Martinez, Coach Heupel and almost the whole staff recruits me. They have never let up. From the first time I visited Tennessee, I felt it could be the place I want to be at. The people are great and the atmosphere is electrifying.”

South Carolina: “They will definitely get an official visit. Since I was there recently, South Carolina moved into my top four with Tennessee, Florida State and USC. I love the strength and conditioning program, what Coach Beamer is doing with the program and how smart the coaches are.”