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Sociology major with a chance to play in the National Football League

D.J. Hayden

Sociology major D.J. Hayden was drafted 12th overall Thursday night by the Oakland Raiders in the first round of the NFL Draft. A medical miracle after suffering a tear of the inferior vena cava in a practice collision on Nov. 6, Hayden is the 12th first-round pick in University of Houston history and the first ever UH defensive back to be selected in the first round.

Hayden is the first Houston player to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft since running back Antowain Smith was selected 21st overall by the Buffalo Bills in 1997.

After suffering an injury that is 95 percent fatal and had never been seen before in football, Hayden was released from Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston after just six days, much sooner than the expected six weeks originally expected by medical professionals.

Prior to his injury that forced him to miss the final three games of the 2012 season, Hayden recorded four interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns, and eight pass breakups en route to being named first team All-Conference USA.

In his two years at Houston, after transferring from Navarro Junior College, Hayden accumulated 127 tackles, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, 19 pass break ups and 6 interceptions.

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