Many recruits commit to a school with the assumption the coaching staff will still be there when they arrive. Unfortunately, often times, that's not the case. Philip Hay, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound athlete from El Dorado (Ark.) Parkers Chapel, thought just last night he'd be going to be the Red Wolves program to play for Gus Malzahn. The news Malzahn left to take the head coaching job at Auburn came to him a bit of a surprise.
"I'm nervous right now," said Philip Hay on the coaching situation at Arkansas State. "Coach Malzahn was the main reason I committed to play there. As of right now I'm still committed, but I'm not sure how long that's going to last.
"Coach (J.B.) Grimes was at my house last night and told me [Malzahn] was staying. The visit went great and I have a good relationship with Coach Grimes. I was supposed to make my official visit in January sometime after the bowl game, but I'm going to have to see how things go now."
At Parkers Chapel, Hay was a three year starter on varsity. In his senior season for the Trojans, he was asked to do many things on the field to best utilize his playmaking abilities.
"We barely missed out on the playoffs," Hay said. "We play in a tough league. The top two teams in our league are playing for the state championship. Individually, I had more than 2000 all-purpose yards. I mostly played running back. I had 1700 rushing yards and 300 when they split me out at receiver. I think I had one punt return and one kickoff return for a touchdown.
The Parkers Chapel Trojans finished their season 4-5 overall missing the playoffs for the second straight year. Against the second-ranked team in the state, Bearden, Hay rushed 24 times for 189 yards and two touchdowns. He's nominated for Conference Player of the Year honors. In the winter, Hay will run point for the Parkers Chapel basketball team.