"Know Your Knights" - Tyler Hayden

Feb. 5, 2014

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By Andrew Jennette

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - With the 2014 season just around the corner, the UCF baseball team will field a 2014 squad that features 24 newcomers. UCFKnights.com will introduce you to each fresh face with a Q and A session as part of the "Know Your Knights" series.

Freshman first baseman Tyler Hayden joins the Knights after being Four-year letterwinner on the Oviedo High School baseball team under coach Harold Hitt. In his senior season, Hayden was named to the first team all-district, all-conference, All-Central Florida and all-state teams.

Question 1: Why did you choose to play for the Knights?

TH: I chose UCF because I grew up right around the corner in Oviedo. This has always been my hometown team that I’ve always cheered for and I always dreamed of playing on this field.

Question 2: What's been the biggest adjustment you've had to make to the college game so far?

TH: Definitely managing my time. You can’t just take life as it comes, you have to think a few days ahead and plan out when you have practice, when you have class and when you have study hall.

Question 3: Who’s your favorite MLB player and team, and why?

TH: The Tampa Bay Rays and Chris Davis. That guy is a beast and I want to be like him one day.

Question 4: What's your favorite thing to do when you're not on the field?

TH: It’s a tie between watching movies on Netflix and playing basketball. I know Robby Howell said he was the best basketball player on the team, but I’m not buying that one bit. I’m calling him out.

Question 5: What is your favorite restaurant in Orlando?

TH: Ale House. I get the zinger mountain melt and I devour those things. It’s very unhealthy so I don’t have them often, but wow are they good.

Question 6: What's your favorite TV show?

TH: I just started Dexter and I’m hooked on that.

Question 7: What will your walkup song be?

TH: “Shipping Up to Boston” by Dropkick Murphys.

Question 8: What country would you most like to visit?

TH: I’d really like to just explore all of Europe and see all the historical landmarks.

Question 9: What parts of your game are you trying to improve?

TH: I want to get consistently solid contact. I want to square balls up more and hit for more power.

Question 10: What's your favorite thing about Orlando?

TH: The fact that it’s basically home. I’m used to the atmosphere of this area. Plus the weather, I only own one jacket.

Question 11: What's one thing your teammates would be surprised to know about you?

TH: One thing that the fans would not know about me is that I can shred it on the piano. If you put a piano in front of me, I’d tear up the chords and tickle the ivory.

Question 12: Who is the guy in the clubhouse that keeps it most upbeat?

TH: Everyone has said Tyler Martin, but James Vasquez is like the quiet funny man. Also Joe Marotta is a funny cat.

Question 13: Nickname of your first little league team?

TH: The Thunder.

Question 14: What non-athlete would you want to meet most and why?

TH: I’d like to meet Zach Galifianakis. He’s my favorite funny actor. Being around him for 10 minutes, I’d probably die laughing.

Question 15: If you could have one superpower, which would you choose?

TH: Telekinesis. That encompasses so many things. I could stop bullets and be like Neo.

Question 16: At which store would you like to max out a credit card?

TH: That’s a tough one, but I’d pick Gamestop. I’d buy all the new systems and the old systems like the N64. Mario Kart would probably be my first purchase.

Question 17: What's the farthest you've been from home?

TH: I went to Costa Rica with my dad last summer for a whole week as a graduation gift. That was a great time.

Question 18: If you were selecting movies for a bus trip, what would you pick first?

TH: 300, The Hangover, Stepbrothers and Madagascar.

Question 19: Most played song on your iPod?

TH: Honestly? “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus. Thank god I have tinted windows because I roll them up and turn the inside of my car into my own personal Madison Square Garden.

Question 20: Dream date?

TH: Blake Lively.