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11-Year-Old Texan Hanging with the Big Boys

It’s not too often that you see a kid going into 5th grade who stands at 5’11, 205 pounds, but there’s a certain prospect from Houston, Texas that’s towering over the others. Big, bad, Hayden Conner is only 11-years-old but he has already accomplished more than most youth football players achieve in their entire careers. 

In a short span of time, Conner has been an FBU Top Gun selection, First Team All-Offensive Line in the Houston Select Football League, KYF All-Star, member of the FBU Houston White National Tournament Team, and has won a Turf Bowl Championship.  It’s also important to note that Conner not only attended FBU’s Top Gun, but he held his own against the top 7th and 8th grade players in the nation. 

The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree with Hayden, as the Conner family has had success in the football world for years now. Conner’s father Steve played college ball at Sam Houston State, but that's not all, both of his grandfathers played college football, as well as his uncle and two cousins.  For Conner, he has a long way to go before he gets to the college scene, but it’s never too early to to think about the future.

“If I had to pick my dream school it would be between LSU and Texas A&M,” said Conner.   “Right now, I’d go with LSU because Les Miles pulled me off of the field at camp this summer and told me he can’t wait to see me come back and play in purple and gold.”

Conner is light-years ahead of his age at this point, as he has already attended college camps at LSU and Texas A&M, and with that kind of training he has set some big goals ahead of himself for next season.

“For next season, my goals are to win the FBU National Championship with the Houston white team and do everything I can to help my four teams win games,” said Conner.  “In the fall, I also want to be selected as a KYF and KAAF All-Star and in the Spring Select Season I want to make HSFL Lineman MVP, 1st Team All-HSFL O-line and HSFL All-Academic Team.”

To help achieve those goals, Conner is always training in the gym and working on different areas of his game with his coaches to get to the next level. He also likes to study film and watch the techniques of his favorite players and tries to model his game after some of the NFL’s best. 

“JJ Watt and Chris Meyers are my two favorite players,” said Conner. “JJ Watt especially, because he is the hardest working player in the NFL and does a lot for Houston and kids.  I like to play o-line like I think an angry Watt would play.”

Although Conner plays mostly offensive line, we may have a future JJ Watt-type player in the making here and it may just be coincidence that the two look very similar in appearance. 

This may be one of the most talented and hardworking kids at this age level in the country and he is the kind of player that any coach would love to have on their team.

“My coaches say that my best ability is being coachable and my football IQ,” said Conner.  “I spend a lot of time learning what everyone is doing on the field so I can help my team during practice and games.  No one will out work me!”

 

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About the Writer

Chris Costa
A graduate from the University of William Paterson, Chris Costa combines his passion for sports and football with his abilities as a writer to give outstanding youth players the attention and exposure they deserve. A lifelong fan of the sport and a student of the game, Costa is one of the head football writers for the Youth1 team and has a knack for scouting football talent.  Please share your questions, comments or stories with Chris at ccosta@youth1.com or call 973-885-4692.
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