Flipping the Script

Although committed to South Florida for more than three months, Immokalee (FL) athlete Jimmy Bayes said he was going to listen if other schools offered him. On Monday, he was listening closely to the University of Wisconsin, who gave him his first scholarship on offense.

With a great relationship with the South Florida coaching staff and the opportunity to play early and close to home, Immokalee (FL) athlete Jimmy Bayes said a variety of factors led him to commit to the Bulls in late January.

"My relationship with South Florida is great," said Bayes. "They said I am the leader of their class, and that's a great responsibility to have. At the same time if schools reach out to me, I am going to be respectful and listen and respond."

Approaching the rest of his recruitment with an open mind was one of the main reasons why Bayes was excited when more scholarships kept coming in, including one Monday from the University of Wisconsin.

"They've been recruiting me for about a month now and I finally got the offer," Bayes told Badger Nation. "I know quite a bit about them. They've played in the Rose Bowl the last few years. A former player from Immokalee went to Wisconsin in Aaron Henry and he had a good career there. Wisconsin has a good rivalry against Michigan, so it's a pretty good program."

Despite Henry being several years older than Bayes, the former Wisconsin defensive back has said some impressive things about his former University when he stops at the school for offseason workouts.

"When I see him, he just tells me about his experience up there," said Bayes. "He said people care up there. Coming all the way from Florida, he said people made him feel welcomed, care for him and make him feel at home. That really sticks out."

While he has been an active recruiter in the state of Virginia for Wisconsin, wide receiver coach Chris Beatty also has the southern tip of Florida as a recruiting territory for the Badgers, and has been the main recruiter for the 6-3, 200-pound Bayes.

"We're building our relationship because our relationship just started," said Bayes. "I can really see it grow. It's a work in progress but it's going to get a lot better."

Playing on both sides of the ball, Bayes put up 80 tackles, three interceptions and 10 pass breakups on defense and 35 receptions on offense. He said all of his offers – Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Iowa State, Kentucky, Marshall, Minnesota, Missouri, Rutgers, South Florida, Vanderbilt and West Virginia – have all offered him on the defensive side of the ball, which was why getting a receiver offer from Beatty caught him by surprise.

"It shocked me when he said the offer was for receiver because most of my offers are for outside linebacker or safety," said Bayes. "He told that I was a solid athlete, and I was honored that he looked at me as a solid athlete, especially representing a solid program.

"As a receiver I have confidence in my route running. I feel like I have good speed up the field, so I can stretch the field. I have a good vertical and good lateral movement, so I think I fit as a receiver. I am pretty confident. I think I'll be a pretty good receiver. I have good work ethic."

Bayes has a busy summer planned with trips to Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Kentucky, Miami, Vanderbilt, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

"It's definitely a school I want to take visit to and do some future research," said Bayes. "Since Wisconsin offered, I put them on the list of wanting to visit them. It's one thing getting offers, but it's another thing to make up a decision. It makes it harder, but I am going to go through the process."


Scout Football Top Stories