Transfer RB that previously played under Bret Bielema at Arkansas commits to Illinois
Bret Bielema has officially taken over at Illinois, and he’s bringing in some old friends to help get things going in Champaign.
On Wednesday, one of his former Arkansas players announced his commitment to play once again for Bielema. After stints with two different programs, Chase Hayden will reunite with Bielema.
— Chase Hayden (@Chase_Hayden2) January 6, 2021
Hayden has spent his collegiate career in the south. The Memphis native committed to Bielema as a four-star prospect and seventh-best player in Tennessee by 247 Sports. As a freshman, he started strong with 326 rushing yards through seven games, but his season was cut short by a broken leg.
Bielema was fired by Arkansas after the 2017 season. With his departure came less playing time for Hayden. He eventually elected to enter the transfer portal and head to East Carolina.
He played just one season with the Pirates and had a limited run. He finished with just 16 carries for 62 yards.
With the 2020 season not counting against his eligibility, Hayden elected to move on. He has now found a home with Bielema and an Illinois program looking to rebuild and retool after the Lovie Smith era.