3 crucial elements Hayden Hurst brings to the Carolina Panthers in 2023

Hayden Hurst
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Carolina Panthers
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Hayden Hurst brings leadership to the Carolina Panthers

With all of the change and turnover within the franchise, it’s critical to establish a culture and identity for the Carolina Panthers. There are already a few notable stalwarts in place, referring to sparkplug Frankie Luvu, and veteran leaders Shaq Thompson and Taylor Moton. Hayden Hurst will only add more high character to the group.

Before shifting gears to focus on football, Hurst was a highly touted pitching prospect with dreams and aspirations of playing in the MLB. That dream became a reality of sorts after he was drafted in the 17th round of the MLB Draft in 2012 by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He elected to put college on the back burner and took a shot at the minor leagues.

That dream turned darker as Hurst continued toward his goals. Eventually, he found himself in a battle for his own mental and physical health.

Hurst opened up about the extent of his struggles with his mental health in 2020. Even detailing his rock bottom of attempted suicide while fighting substance abuse, as well as depression.

From that point, Hurst moved with the purpose of going upward and onward. He walked on at the University of South Carolina and worked his way into the NFL. That extreme adversity faced head on, and his ability to speak so candidly and passionately about helping others in similar health crises, are testament to the person he is.

Hurst is also heavily involved in his community, thanks in part to the Hayden Hurst Family Foundation.

The path of that personal character translating to the locker room and the football field is apparent with Hurst. He takes nothing for granted, works harder than the hardest worker you know, and he’ll be an invaluable listening ear and supportive shoulder for any of his teammates that may find themselves in any kind of peril – whether on or off the field.

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