STATE SPORTS BRIEFS: Hayden opts for East Carolina | Washington, Heinrich enter portal | Coaching changes at Sheridan, Atkins


Hayden opts for East Carolina

Former University of Arkansas running back Chase Hayden, who entered the transfer portal this winter, has committed to East Carolina, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette confirmed Tuesday. Hayden's decision was first reported by

Hayden, a graduate transfer, has two years of eligibility remaining after playing in four games last fall.

The 5-10, 205-pounder from Memphis had his best college season as a true freshman in 2017 when he gained 326 yards and scored four touchdowns before suffering a broken leg in a home loss to Auburn in Week 7.

Hayden was a third-teamer behind Devwah Whaley and David Williams that season and was again behind Whaley and Rakeem Boyd in 2018. Hayden rushed for 251 yards and one touchdown as a sophomore and averaged 4.4 yards per carry.

He participated in four games last fall, rushing for 39 yards and a 3.2-yard average and returning 2 kickoffs for 22 yards.

The son of former University of Tennessee and NFL running back Aaron Hayden, he originally chose Arkansas over offers from Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Michigan and others.

-- Tom Murphy


Washington, Heinrich enter portal

FAYETTEVILLE -- Two more University of Arkansas baseball players entered the NCAA's transfer portal Tuesday.

Outfielder Curtis Washington Jr. and right-handed pitcher Kevin Heinrich bring to five the number of Razorbacks who have entered the database this year. Right-handed pitchers Travis Hester and Collin Taylor, and infielder Jesse Pierce also are seeking transfers.

Washington, who is from West Memphis, played in 36 games during two seasons with the Razorbacks, including the 2020 season that was cut short due to the covid-19 outbreak. He hit .353 with three doubles, a triple and a home run as a freshman.

Heinrich did not pitch as a freshman this year. He signed with the Razorbacks out of Parkland (Fla.) Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

A large number of transfers are expected across college baseball this offseason as teams look to compensate for bloated rosters brought about by the NCAA's decision to grant an extra year of eligibility and MLB's reported decision to shorten its draft to five rounds.

-- Matt Jones


Coaching changes at Sheridan, Atkins

Sheridan and Atkins have head coaching openings after the resignation of Lance Parker and the retirement of Tommy Cody, respectively.

Parker will become an assistant coach at Malvern under JD Plumlee. He went 7-24 in three seasons at Sheridan but led the Yellowjackets to the Class 6A playoffs last season.

Cody retires from the Red Devils after nine seasons, going 63-39-1, including a Class 3A second-round appearance last season. He was 110-89-2 in 25 seasons of coaching.

-- Jeremy Muck

Sports on 05/13/2020

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