May 10, 2014
CONWAY - Coastal Carolina wide receiver Matt Hazel was selected in the sixth round (190th overall pick) by the Miami Dolphins in the 2014 NFL Draft Saturday afternoon.
Hazel joins teammate Lorenzo Taliaferro (selected in the fourth round by Baltimore Saturday) as the first Chanticleers to be drafted in the same season as well as being the first teammates in Big South history to accomplish the feat. Hazel is now the fifth Chanticleer to be drafted by the NFL following Tyler Thigpen (seventh round in 2007), Jerome Simpson (second round in 2008), Josh Norman (fifth round in 2012) and Taliaferro.
Hazel, a three-time All-Big South selection, set Coastal Carolina records for single-season and career receptions and became just the third Chanticleer to earn an invitation to the prestigious East-West Shrine Game.
Hazel caught a CCU season-best 70 passes in 2013, helping the Chanticleers post a 12-3 record, reach the quarterfinals of the 2013 NCAA Division I Championship and rank seventh in the final national polls. He finished the 2013 season 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.