The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News 2

February 5, 2014

Stephens signs with Shorter University

Tanner RB rang up 73 total TDs, 5,506 all-purpose yards in 4 seasons



Hello to the Hawks

Stephens, who has two state championship rings from football, one from track and an opportunity to win another this spring in the 100 meters, said he chose the Hawks because the coaching staff expects him to immediately compete for playing time in the backfield.

He also likes the music scene near the campus in Rome, Ga., and said he intends to major in music. Stephens, who is working two part-time jobs to pay for voice lessons, is an avid guitar player and learned to play about three years ago from his grandfather, Roger Whitt.

Stephens’ parents, East Limestone special education teacher Johnny Stephens and Tanner kindergarten teacher LeeAnna Stephens, and his three siblings, Landon, Kristen and Whitney, won’t have to travel far to watch the youngest member of the sports-loving family.

The drive is only about two hours from Tanner to Shorter’s campus, located in a sprawling city that is also home to Hayden’s great-uncle, Martin McElyea.

After several teammates finished taking snapshots and eating the refreshments brought by his mother, Hayden spoke about his teammates and credited his brother with spurring his development.

Landon is a former standout quarterback and multi-sport star at Tanner, and is now playing baseball at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa.

“One of my favorite things was learning, mainly from my brother,” he said. “I started as a ninth-grader when he was an 11th grader. He just taught me so much about being a leader, being mentally and physically tough on and off the field. He just made me a better person and football player.”

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Local News 2
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