Cover photo for Derek Sherrard "Dj" Hayden's Obituary
Derek Sherrard "Dj" Hayden Profile Photo

Derek Sherrard "Dj" Hayden

June 27, 1990 — November 11, 2023

Derek Sherrard "Dj" Hayden

Remembering DJ


On June 27, 1990, a beautiful baby boy was born to the parentage of Taloria Hayden and Derek Hayden and they named him, Derek Sherrard DJ Hayden. From the moment he was born, DJ became a beacon of light to his family and friends. He spent his formative years playing sports such as football and basketball with the neighborhood kids – terrorizing, yet always protecting his sisters and cousins. DJ also served as the adorable ring bearer or junior groomsman at numerous weddings.


Derek grew up in Missouri City, Texas and attended grade school in the Fort Bend Independent School District. He graduated from Elkins High School in 2008. Following graduation, he spent two years at Navarro Junior College, where he played cornerback. During DJ’s sophomore year at Navarro, his stellar plays helped the team claim its second National Junior College Athletic Association Football Championship. He later transferred to the University of Houston in 2011, where he excelled in his position – garnering many accolades and awards including Newcomer of the Year in 2011 and First-Team All-Conference in 2012.


During his senior year, he suffered a near fatal accident on the practice field that tore the main vein in his heart and as a testament to his strength and determination, DJ miraculously recovered within months and made the brave decision to enter the 2013 NFL Draft. He was selected as the 12th pick in the first round of the draft by the Oakland Raiders, where he spent the first four years of his professional football career. After his stint with the Raiders, DJ spent one year with the Detroit Lions, three years with the Jacksonville Jaguars and his final year with the Washington Commanders. During the off seasons, he annually hosted his free “Play Your Heart Out” football camp for young players ages 7-14. He retired from the NFL in 2021, but his love for the game of football continued. He willingly shared his passion, experiences and expertise by serving as a mentor and defensive backs coach for Second Baptist School’s football team.


Following his retirement from professional football, DJ enjoyed spending time golfing, fishing, playing video games and kickball, and hosting family functions, which always included a group of his dearest friends.

Derek was a devoted father, who took pride in being the ultimate “girl-dad”. He loved spending time with his girls, playing games, doing at home manicure/pedicures and travelling to exciting sites.


On November 11, 2023, Derek S. Hayden along with three of his closest friends, (Lauren Robinson Holliday, Zachary McMillian, and Ralph Oragwu) were taken away from us suddenly. He is preceded in death by his paternal grandmother, Letha Stewart.


DJ’s memories will linger forever in the hearts of his mother, Taloria Hayden; father, Derek Hayden; daughters, Dylan and Demi Hayden (their mother, Ke’era Battin); sisters, Kassie and Taylor Hayden; nieces, Haidyn Tibbs and Talia Merriett; nephew, Greyson Tibbs. He also leaves behind his grandmother, Gwen Smith; grandfathers, Charles Clark and Johnnie Hayden; beloved uncle, Mike Clark (Kimberly); aunt, Monica Hayden; devoted godparents, Dr. Theophilus and Katie L. Herrington as well as a host of cousins, great uncles and aunts, extended family members, former teammates and close friends.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Derek Sherrard "Dj" Hayden, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, November 18, 2023

9:00 - 10:00 am (Central time)

The Fountain of Praise Church

13950 Hillcroft Avenue, Houston, TX 77085

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

The Fountain of Praise Church

13950 Hillcroft Avenue, Houston, TX 77085

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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