Player Profile Series: Hayden Greenbauer

Player Profile Series: Hayden Greenbauer

Our player profile series continues with a look at S Hayden Greenbauer!

Hayden Greenbauer

Position: Safety

Size: 6-0, 205

High School: San Antonio Clark

Class: Redshirt Junior

Recruitment: Even after rushing for nearly 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns his senior year, Hayden Greenbauer still held only one offer: SMU. Greenbauer had accumulated some interest from the likes of Baylor, Iowa State and others, but after playing quarterback in high school, only SMU's Bert Hill offered the San Antonio-born athlete. Greenbauer entered his first summer with the Mustangs in 2010 in a humbled position.

2012 Review: After redshirting in 2010 and playing in just four games on special teams in 2011, injuries to the SMU defensive backfield gave Greenbauer a shot to prove himself in 2012. When Greenbauer got his first start, he was eager to prove to the coaching staff he was worthy of the role. Although Greenbauer wasn't a standout on the SMU defense, he was one of the most consistent players. After recording just eight tackles throughout the first 11 games, Greenbauer had his breakthrough moment against Tulsa, recording, a career-high, 10 total tackles (5 solo). As the season progressed, so did Greenbauer.

Greenbauer is probably, however, known most for his performance in the Sherraton Hawaii Bowl, where he recorded four tackles and notched his first interception, an 83-yard pick-six. His first career pick-six was also the eighth of the season for the Mustangs, tying the NCAA all-time record.

2013 Outlook: Although Greenbauer patiently waited for his opportunity in 2012 to make an impact, expect him to make an even bigger impact, right away in 2013. He may not be the most physical player, but Greenbauer is the brains of the defense.

Earlier in his career at SMU, and even at some points during last season, Greenbauer was used as the scout quarterback, which is considered to be the reason why Greenbauer is known as the player who knows every teammate's assignment on a given play. Having a player on the field like that becomes extremely important when players are lost to injuries or when new players are pushed into starting roles.

Having these abilities don't just come naturally, however. Greenbauer is known for his hard work on and off of the field. He is always trying to improve his game, which is the kind of player you want starting on your team.

Even with all of the talent the Mustangs have in the defensive backfield, Greenbauer will head into the fall as the starting free safety. With an entire summer to get stronger, faster and more acclimated to the defensive schemes, expect that he will take full advantage of the opportunities given to him.

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