Jalin Hyatt’s Journey: From Dutch Fork to the Big Apple part two

Published: May. 12, 2023 at 6:33 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - There’s a sign in the Dutch Fork weight room. It says “Championships start here.”

Jalin Hyatt excelled there and out on the field. He used his time as a Silver Fox to get stronger physically and develop a winner’s mentality. It’s carried him to the SEC and beyond.

Hyatt enrolled at the University of Tennessee almost three years ago. His goal was simple: go in and make an immediate impact.

“I think he had a little chip on his shoulder going to Tennessee,” Dutch Fork head football coach Tom Knotts said. “Coach Muschamp didn’t offer him at South Carolina. I think that motivated him and led him to a lot of good things there.”

Impact, he did. Hyatt played in all ten games of the shortened 2020 season, finishing with 20 receptions for 276 yards and two touchdowns. He made his Volunteer debut in Columbia and scored his first career touchdown against Alabama.

Two years later, he had his signature moment against the Crimson Tide, hauling in 207 yards and a school-record five touchdowns in just six catches.

The accolades poured in at the end of the season: unanimous first-team All-American and first-team All-SEC, plus the Biletnikoff Award for college football’s most outstanding receiver.

“My hat’s off to Coach [Josh] Heupel and what he did with him. He just took advantage of his skill set,” Knotts said. “He’s going to have to do the things that the pro receivers are doing nowadays. They’re special athletes and he’s a special athlete. He’s got a great football IQ, so I don’t think he’ll have any issues.”

Hyatt declared for the NFL Draft in December. Four months later, it was time. Despite earlier projections, he didn’t hear his name called until the third round.

He was the tenth receiver selected. To his former coaches, it’s just more motivation.

“Heck yeah it should’ve been higher,” Dutch Fork strength and conditioning coach Noah Dixon said. “They’re sleeping on him, but they’re going to see. They’re going to see.”

“All he needs is a chance and he’s going to get a good chance,” Knotts said. “He’s in a good place with the Giants. He’s got a good quarterback and a good coaching staff, so I think he’ll do just fine.”

As Hyatt makes the next step in his career, he has forever fans cheering him on from where it all began.

“My message to Jalin is just keep doing you. Keep working, no matter what the critics say. ‘You’re too lean’ or whatever. You know what you’ve got. We know what you’ve got. Go with it,” Dixon said. “I’m looking for great things. I’m excited.”

The Giants open the 2023 season on Sept. 10 against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.

Notice a spelling or grammar error in this article? Click or tap here to report it. Please include the article's headline.

Stay up to date with WIS News 10. Get the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and Stream us on Roku, YouTube, Amazon Fire, or Apple TV.