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Ex-WMU linebacker, MAC Player of the Year Treshaun Hayward transferring to Arizona

KALAMAZOO, MI – A key cog in Western Michigan’s defense over the past two seasons will finish his college football career in the Pac-12.

Linebacker Treshaun Hayward announced Monday via Twitter his decision to transfer to the University of Arizona, where he’ll have one season of immediate eligibility.

“I want to say thank you to the coaches (at) WMU for giving me an opportunity to play college football,” Hayward said in a Twitter post. “I want to thank my teammates and the community of Kalamazoo for making these 4 years worth while on and off the field, those memories will last a lifetime. I will now be a graduate student athlete (at) the University of Arizona.”

Hayward went on to thank new Arizona coach Jedd Fisch and new defensive coordinator Don Brown for the upcoming opportunity.

RELATED: WMU football All-American linebacker, back-up tight end enter transfer portal

In four years at WMU, the 6-foot-1, 235-pound Hayward accumulated 229 tackles (16 for loss) and 5.5 sacks, including a junior season in which he earned Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors, after tallying 142 tackles (10.5 for loss), five sacks, one pass breakup, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery for the 7-6 Broncos, despite not cracking the starting lineup until Week 3.

Hayward became the eighth WMU athlete to earn the Defensive Player of the Year from the MAC, and he also garnered All-American honors from the Sporting News (Second Team) and Phil Steele (Fourth Team).

In the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season, Hayward made 59 tackles (3.5 for loss) and added a half-sack for a WMU defense that allowed 34.1 points and 399.7 points per game for the 4-2 Broncos.

A three-star recruit out of Ann Arbor Skyline, Hayward was the MLive/Ann Arbor News Defensive Player of the Year during his senior season in 2016, when he made than 70 tackles, 18 stops for loss, two sacks, three forced fumbles and one interception.

Hayward’s new head coach and defensive coordinator also have Ann Arbor ties, with Fisch serving as the passing game coordinator at the University of Michigan for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, and Brown holding the Wolverines’ defensive coordinator job for five seasons from 2016-20.

Arizona went 0-5 and allowed 39.8 points per game in 2020, which was Kevin Sumlin’s final year with the Wildcats.

The defense was depleted at linebacker heading into the season following the transfers of three-year starters Colin Schooler and Tony Fields, so Hayward is well-positioned to start during his only year in Tucson.

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