Isaiah Hayes has had to adjust to the level of competition in college, but he got a head start by playing against the likes of Darnay Holmes and Keyshawn Johnson Jr at Calabasas High School.
“Playing against top guys like Darnay Holmes, Keyshawn, it has brought my intensity up and changed me as a player,” Hayes said. "It’s still a big jump, but going against them every day in practice was definitely a blessing.
“Coming from high school to college, it is really as hard as you make it. It depends not he type of person you are and the type of person you are with how hard you work.”
Hayes’ former teammates aren’t the only ones that have helped with the transition.
“My position coach is Coach Addae and he is an amazing person on and off the field,” Hayes said. “He is energetic and serious. You can tell he is passionate about this game and takes pride in what we do.
“I’m blessed to have somebody that has been there and trying to get to where I have been, so I have been a sponge to him.”
Neither the players nor the coaches have given much detail about what the defense will look like, but Hayes was able to give some insight.
“Our defense is a mixture of everything,” Hayes said. “There are different types of coverages and adjustments and formations, so it is going to be a special year.
“The difficulty is probably taking it from the meeting room all the way to the field and having it run full speed at you, but once you rep it, it becomes easier and second nature.”