CCU’s Taliaferro drafted by Ravens; Hazel to Dolphins

ccufoot-taliaferroIt didn’t take Coastal Carolina All-American running back Lorenzo Taliaferro very long to find a job.

Taliaferro had a memorable day Saturday as he participated in the University’s graduation exercises in the morning and was taken in the fourth round (138th overall pick) by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2014 NFL Draft in the afternoon.

Taliaferro becomes the fourth Chanticleer to be selected in the NFL Draft, joining quarterback Tyler Thigpen (seventh round, 217th overall in 2007 by Minnesota), wide receiver Jerome Simpson (second round, 46th overall in 2008 by Cincinnati) and cornerback Josh Norman (fifth round, 143rd overall by Carolina).

Taliaferro was a finalist for the 2013 Walter Payton Award, selected to play in the 2014 Senior Bowl and named the 2013 Big South Offensive Player of the Year after having a record- setting senior campaign. He additionally was named to four All-American teams and was the Big South Offensive Player of the Week a record-tying five times.

He rushed for 1,729 yards on 276 attempts (6.3 avg.) with 27 touchdowns while averaging 115.3 yards per game. He added 23 receptions to 153 yards and two scores.

His play helped Coastal Carolina post a 12-3 record, win a second-straight Big South Championship, reach a program-best quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I Championship and finish seventh in the final FCS polls.

Dolphins pick WR Hazel

In the sixth round, the Miami Dolphins used the 190th overall pick on Coastal wide receiver Matt Hazel.

Hazel caught a CCU season-best 70 passes in helping the Chanticleers post a 12-3 record and reach the quarterfinals of the 2013 NCAA Division I Championship. He finished with 990 yards and nine touchdowns, which tied for the Big South lead. As a junior, Hazel tied Simpson’s previous CCU record with 63 receptions as Coastal reached the second round of the FCS playoffs. Hazel had three games with at least 100 receiving yards and owns five of the school’s top 14 single-game performances for his career.

For his career, Hazel caught a CCU record 183 passes for 2,553 yards – second to Simpson’s 2,720 yards from 2004-07. Hazel also set a CCU record by catching 3.73 passes per game for his career while his 28 career touchdown receptions ranks second on the CCU all-time list, his 29 total TDs scored ranks fourth and his 30 TDs responsible for ranks eighth. (Hazel had a 24-yard rushing TD versus VMI this season and completed a 21-yard TD versus Gardner-Webb in 2011.) Hazel additionally finished his career sixth on the CCU all-time list for all-purpose yards with 2,573 and sixth for total points scored with 176.

Among active FCS players, Hazel’s 28 career TD receptions ranked third, his 2,553 receiving yards ranked 4th and his 183 career receptions ranked sixth.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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