Kelvin Hayden was born July 28, 1983 in Chicago, Illinois. He is currently the starting cornerback for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League.
Hayden attended Hubbard High School in Chicago where we was a four-year starter for the football team. All told, he played cornerback, quarterback, and tailback during his career there, and excelled at each position. After high school, Hayden attended Joliet Junior College for two seasons, racking up 115 receptions, 1839 yards, and 17 touchdowns as a wide receiver. He was twice named to the All-Conference team, and in 2002, he led his team to an NJCAA title while earning NJCAA National Offensive Player of the Year honors.
Hayden transferred to the University of Illinois after his sophomore season, and in his first year facing big-time college talent led Illinois with 52 catches for 592 yards and three touchdowns. He was switched to defensive back before his senior year, and acclimated himself quickly to the new position, recording 71 tackles, six passes defended, four interceptions, a blocked kick, and a forced fumble. Bill Polian saw enough during his lone season on defense to make Hayden a second round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft.
His inexperience was evident during his rookie season with the Colts, and Hayden spent most of the year watching from sidelines and contributing on special teams. He started one game his second year, but was mostly used as a nickel-back in the Colts secondary, which finished the season as the NFL’s second-ranked pass defense. Despite not starting, he showed plenty of promise, and made big plays throughout the year. None bigger than in the Super Bowl victory over the Chicago Bears. Subbing for an injured and ineffective Nick Harper, Hayden picked off Bloomington, Indiana native Rex Grossman’s fourth quarter pass, and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown to give the Colts a 29-17 lead, the game’s final margin.
He moved opposite Marlin Jackson in the starting lineup the next season, and played in all 16 games, finishing the season with 117 tackles, three interceptions, 12 passes defended, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. He’s dealt with injuries the past two years, missing 14 combined games, but the Colts were confident enough in his abilities that they signed him to a five-year, $43 million contract before the 2009 season. Prior to the Colts signing veteran DeShea Townsend before the start of training camp, Hayden was the only cornerback on the Indy roster that had more than one season of NFL experience.