Hazelton making the USC "V" for victory sign after a 2008 fall practice
No. 18 New York Jets
|Date of birth:January 29, 1988|
|Place of birth: New York, New York|
|High school: Staten Island (NY) Moore|
|Undrafted in 2011|
|No regular season or postseason appearances|
|Roster status: Reserve/Injured|
Career NFL statistics as of 2012
Vidal Hazelton (born January 29, 1988) is an American Football wide receiver for the New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL). He was signed by the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2011. He played college football at Cincinnati. He formerly played for the University of Southern California (USC) football team.
As a junior in 2005 at Moore Catholic High School in Staten Island (N.Y.), he caught 39 passes for 784 yards (20.1 avg.) with 17 TDs, ran for 240 yards with 4 scores and posted 38 tackles, 3 sacks and 2 interceptions for TDs. He eventually transferred to Hargrave Military Academy his senior year, where he had 41 receptions for 942 yards (23.0 avg.) with 13 TDs in 2005. Hazelton was invited to play in the 2006 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, a national all-star game for the best high school football players in the country.
Hazelton arrived at USC as one of the nation's best players and one of USC's biggest pickups of the recruiting season. Hazelton saw time in only two games his freshman season, as the Trojans ended up going 11-2 and winning the 2007 Rose Bowl against Michigan 32-18. Hazelton played backup to Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith, two of the best receivers in the nation, and only accumulated one catch for eight yards. He also had a run for seven yards.
Hazelton was expected to start the 2007 season for the Trojans, along with junior Patrick Turner, and in spring practice Hazelton impressed observers. He entered fall camp as the top starting flanker on the depth chart. Vidal made an outstanding one handed touchdown catch against Idaho in USC's first game of the year. He finished the season as USC's leading wide receiver in 2007, catching 50 passes and scored four touchdowns.
Hazelton's 2008 season with USC was not as successful. After catching five passes, he suffered a high ankle sprain in the season opener against Virginia. Once he recovered he found himself unable to climb back into the starting line-up. The arrival and rise of Arkansas-transfer Damian Williams, along with continued production by senior Patrick Turner and sophomore Ronald Johnson, pushed Hazelton into the role of a seldom used reserve. Further complicating matters, Hazelton's grandfather was diagnosed with cancer, and he desired to be geographically closer to him. On December 2, 2008, Hazelton asked for and was granted permission to transfer to another school. After leaving, Hazelton noted "USC is a great place. It's filled up with athletes. If somebody's not 100 percent they've got to pass them up. I would have done the same thing if I was the coaches at USC." Although Hazelton was from New York, he lived most recently with his grandfather in Georgia. By mid-January, Hazelton was leaning towards Cincinnati.
After going undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft, Hazelton was signed by the San Diego Chargers on July 26, 2011. He was waived by San Diego on August 30. He later signed with the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad on December 27, 2011. He was waived by the Cincinnati Bengals on August 31, 2012.
Hazelton signed with the Tennessee Titans practice squad September 3, 2012.
New York Jets
The New York Jets signed Hazelton to a reserve/future contract on January 23, 2013. He was waived on August 7, 2013 after suffering an undisclosed leg injury. Hazelton was placed on the team's injured reserve list on August 8, 2013.
- Gary Klein, Vidal Hazelton to transfer from USC, Los Angeles Times, December 3, 2008, Accessed December 3, 2008.
- Gary Klein, Booty is in his comfort zone, Los Angeles Times, March 28, 2007.
- Gary Klein, USC's Spanos makes grade on the field, Los Angeles Times, April 14, 2007.
- Bill Koch, 'High on Cincinnati', The Cincinnati Enquirer, January 15, 2009, Accessed January 15, 2009.
- Brian Matthews, Hazelton In Depth on Transfer, WeAreSC.com, December 2, 2008, Accessed December 3, 2008.
- Sources: Hazelton transferring to Cincy. Retrieved on 2009-01-14.
- "Vidal Hazelton". Rotoworld. 23 January 2013. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- Fensom, Michael (7 August 2013). "Jets release Vidal Hazelton". The Star-Ledger. Archived from the original on 7 August 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
- "Transactions". National Football League. Retrieved 10 August 2013.