Italy: Lazio Ducks re-sign former NFL WR Matt Hazel

The Lazio Ducks of the Italian Football League have resigned their leading receiver from last season in Matt Hazel.

Hazel will be reunited with his former high school coach,Dan Pippin, in Rome for the second consecutive season as the two look to lead the Ducks back to the post-season.

Head Coach Dan Pippin is thrilled to have his star wideout back:

“To be able to coach Matt one more year is an honor. To be able to have Matt and Luke sign with us for another year says a lot about our organization. It’s a great year to be a Duck.”

The 6’1″ 195 pound receiver racked up 67 catches for 966 yards and 10 touchdowns in seven games for the Ducks last season. The North Augusta, South Carolina native also made 13 tackles, one interception, and six pass breakups while playing on defense as well.

Before heading to Italy in 2020, Hazel enjoyed a five-year career in the NFL playing for five different teams. Drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Hazel spent two seasons in Florida, before playing for the Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, Indianapolis Colts, and Cleveland Browns over the next three seasons. Hazel then spent part of the 2019 season in the Canadian Football League with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Prior to the pros, Hazel was a standout at North Augusta high school in South Carolina playing for current Lazio coach Dan Pippin. Hazel went on to have a stellar career at nearby Coastal Carolina University (NCAA D1 FCS). As a member of the Chanticleers, he set several receiving records. His 183 career receptions, and 70 receptions in 2013, are both school records, also Hazel’s 2,553 career receiving yards and 28 career receiving touchdowns are both second in CCU history. His play did not go unnoticed as he became the third player in school history to participate in the All-Star East-West Shrine Game, joining NFL players Jerome Simpson and Josh Norman.

Read more about Hazel and head coach Dan Pippin’s story from high school football in the south to playing in Rome

Watch Hazel’s NCAA highlights here

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football