Hazelton Undergoes Surgery

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Hazelton makes a one-handed grab in the 2007 opener. Frank Bellino/Riverside Press-Enterprise

Sophomore Vidal Hazelton, who hauled in 50 receptions for 540-yards in 2007, has undergone stomach surgery to repair two muscle tears – according to Press-Telegram. The lanky, 6-3 wide-receiver was sometimes criticized for a lack of explosive speed during his breakout season, despite averaging 10.8 yards per catch. But whatever perceived “deficit” he may have had, it was likely caused by a nagging internal injury. And somehow despite the pain, Hazelton managed to man-up, play through and make major contributions to the Trojan offense.

Hazelton played last season with what was believed to be a groin injury but it turned out to be multiple stomach tears. He is expected to be fully recovered for spring practice, which begins next month.

Hazelton finished the 2007 season third on the USC’s receiver-roster in total yards, only behind TE Fred Davis (881 yds) and Patrick Turner (569 yds). With Fred Davis likely to go first round in the NFL draft, a healthy Hazelton will likely factor in as a strong component in the Trojans’ 2008 receiving-strategy. Expect another grab like the one pictured above in the ’08 opener against Virginia.

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