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Arizona lands Western Michigan grad transfer Treshaun Hayward, an All-American linebacker and 2019 MAC Defensive Player of the Year

Graphic via @WMU_Football

The Arizona Wildcats landed one of the top transfers in the country on Monday in Western Michigan linebacker Treshaun Hayward. The grad transfer was a second-team All-American (Sporting News) in 2019 as well as the MAC Defensive Player of the Year.

In four seasons at WMU, Hayward tallied 239 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble. In 13 games in 2019, he had 142 tackles (10.5 for loss) and five sacks. In five games in the shortened 2020 season, Hayward had 50 tackles (3.5 for loss) and half a sack.

Arizona’s linebacker depth was decimated when Colin Schooler and Tony Fields transferred away, so Hayward, who has one year of eligibility left, fills a position of need and should be able to start right away alongside Anthony Pandy, who led the Wildcats with 30 tackles in 2020.

Hayward name-dropped new UA defensive coordinator Don Brown in his commitment post, so we can assume Brown’s Midwest connections helped bring Hayward to Arizona. Hayward is from Ypsilanti, Michigan but attended Skyline High School in Ann Arbor, where the University of Michigan is.

“Hayward is a 6-1 linebacker that weighs 225 pounds and has a non-stop running motor,” wrote Damon Talbot of NFL Draft Diamonds. “The Ypsilanti, Michigan native is making these major colleges in Michigan pay for sleeping on him as a prospect. He takes great angles, and is one of the best players in the MAC. You can see the game slowed down to Hayward, he turned into an All-American in one year. He may need to add a little weight but he is a prototypical outside linebacker.”